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NNS: Busch Wins Kroger 200 At ORP

Article written by Jeff Hood, RacinToday.com

A week after the Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski dustup in St. Louis, the PG-13 version of “Have at it Boys” showed up at O’Reilly Raceway Park Saturday night.

Watch! VIDEO: Kyle Busch Wins Kroger 200 - O'Reilly Raceway Park RACE RESULTS: KROGER 200 - NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES - INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK - JULY 24, 2010

On a hot, humid evening with the threat of rain looming in the distance, Busch led 144 of 201 laps to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kroger 200 in the suburbs of Indianapolis. It was his eighth victory of the season.

A late-race caution allowed Edwards to line up alongside Busch for a two-lap dash to the finish.

It also left a near-capacity crowd at the .686-mile oval wondering if Edwards would use his front bumper like he had seven days earlier to turn Keselowski at Gateway International Raceway.

But Edwards, who is on NASCAR probation for the remainder of the year, chose to mind his manners.

“I wasn’t going to move Kyle out of the way,” said Edwards, who got underneath Busch’s No. 18 Toyota briefly entering Turn 3 on the final lap. “I inadvertently got into him just a little off of Turn 4 one time.

“I couldn’t move him out of the way. We race really well together. I had one of the best races I’ve ever had in my life last year here. It seems like we have really raced well together the past last couple of years.”

Busch admitted that he had a plan in mind in case Edwards, who had fresher tires, decided to rough him up at the end.

“It’s always there, especially at a short track and especially here at ORP,” Busch said. “You’re so vulnerable running around the top side like you do, that people can dive bomb you on the bottom and slide up into you.

“I knew it was there. But if I could just keep enough momentum rolling I felt like anytime he laid a bumper to me he’d get sideways too.”

Aric Almirola finished third in the No. 88 J.R. Motorsports Chevrolet. Polesitter Trevor Bayne and Georgian Reed Sorenson rounded out the top five.

One night after winning the Camping World Truck Series race, 52-year-old Ron Hornaday Jr. emerged as a legitimate threat to outrun Busch.

But contact with the lapped car of J.C. Stout on lap 162 sent Hornaday’s No. 33 Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet into the outside wall in Turn 3 while running second to the eventual race winner.

“That was a hard hit,"said Hornaday, who finished 28th. “After I got into the corner, (Stout) just turned left. We were running Kyle down, but I don’t think I could have passed him.”

Points leader Keselowski, who started and finished eighth, survived a scare at the start of the race when the outside lane got bottled up and created a chain reaction pileup as the green flag waved.

Later in the event, Keselowski and Edwards wound up racing for position.

“We gave each other plenty of room, and that’s good,” Edwards said. “Hopefully, we can keep doing that going forward.

Watch! VIDEO: Kyle Busch Wins Kroger 200 - O'Reilly Raceway Park RACE RESULTS: KROGER 200 - NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES - INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK - JULY 24, 2010

“It’s just hard racing. This is the Nationwide Series. We’re both racing for a championship. And I enjoyed our racing tonight.”