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NNS: Busch Wins In Frantic Finish

A race that appeared to be solidly in the hands of Joey Logano instead wound up in the possession of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.

RESULTS: Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300

Busch passed Greg Biffle in the final mile Saturday at Auto Club Speedway to win the Stater Bros. 300 Nationwide Series race after the dominant Logano had led 130 laps, consistently rejecting challengers all afternoon.

Logano’s strength turned much of the race into a snoozer, but the final two laps – it was a green-white-checkered finish – held remarkable drama and tight racing.

Logano led on the restart, but Biffle nudged his way forward from third place, making slight contact with Logano and sending him up the track and back to fourth place as Busch and Brad Keselowski also surged past.

On the final lap, Busch ran to the inside of Biffle, and the four leaders raced in formation toward the finish. As Busch rolled past Biffle to cross the finish line first, Logano spun onto the grass separating the racing surface from pit road.

Busch, who led only four of the 150 laps (he was in Logano’s shadow virtually all day), gave JGR its fifth straight Nationwide win at ACS.

“That’s crazy,” Busch said. “That’s some racing there.”

Not surprisingly, Logano wasn’t as pleased with the turn of events. He said he was hit by Biffle in the first turn on the final restart. “I realize it’s tight racing, but he could have done it differently,” Logano said. “You keep doing that, and eventually it’s going to come back and bite you.”

Biffle said Logano made a mistake “and spun his tires and couldn’t get going. He tried to come down and block the bottom, but I already had a run and I wasn’t going to give that up.”

Logano led 47 of the first 50 laps and 68 of the first 71 and was rarely challenged at the front until the closing laps.

Danica Patrick, making her second start in the series, fell to the rear of the field early in the race and was lapped by the leaders on lap 18. She finished 31st.

Logano had a 1.7-second lead over Busch with five laps to go when Brendan Gaughan produced the last caution of the race with a spinout, setting up the wild finish.

RESULTS: Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEEDtv.com and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.