Kurt Busch Grabs 1st Road Course Victory

Kurt Busch earned his first career road course victory with a dominating performance at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, leading a race-high 76 laps and beating Jeff Gordon by almost 4 seconds.

It marked a total turnaround for Busch and his Penske Racing team, which struggled last month and made behind-the-scenes personnel changes to adapt.

Carl Edwards finished third Sunday, followed by Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose.

The race featured several on-track flare-ups, most notably Brian Vickers' payback spin of Tony Stewart. The bump sent Stewart's car spinning into a stack of tires, and the rear of his Chevrolet came to a rest on top of the stack.

It certainly seemed as if Busch's season was in serious trouble just two months ago, when poor performances led to an intense radio tirade against his entire Penske Racing organization.

What could have destroyed his race team has actually had the opposite effect.

"We've been on a great run these last few weeks," Busch said. "To get a road course win, it's a big check mark on my list. It's just really neat to bring home that 'W."'

Busch's first win of the season marked a turn for Busch, who unraveled over his team radio at Richmond in early May because of how poorly his Dodge had been running.

The resulting changes at Penske Racing have sparked both Busch and teammate Brad Keselowski, who won at Kansas earlier this month. Busch, despite three consecutive poles, was winless but inching closer and closer.

It finally came on a road course, of all places. Busch was winless in 10 career starts at both Sonoma and Watkins Glen, the only two road courses on the Sprint Cup circuit.

Beating Gordon made it extra special for Busch, who was one of many drivers wrecked by Gordon here last year. It was fresh in his memory when he arrived -- Busch claimed Gordon had apologized to every driver he wrecked last year except him.

"It was a definite boost at the end of the day, to see him finish second," Busch said, smiling.

Gordon congratulated Busch in Victory Lane, but said "I still didn't apologize."