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Late charge gives Leffler second Busch victory

From Times Wire Reports

Jason Leffler’s second NASCAR Busch Series victory was much more memorable than his first.

Leffler took the lead from Greg Biffle with two laps to go in the Kroger 200 on Saturday night and raced to his first Busch win in three years -- and Toyota’s first victory ever in the series.

Biffle led in Lap 191 before a caution brought the field together at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. Leffler took the lead in Lap 197, then jockeyed with Biffle for a while before finishing strong.

“This is a lot more exciting to come to the end like that, beating and banging and doing those slide jobs,” said Leffler, whose last Busch win came June 12, 2004, in the Federated Auto Parts 300 in Nashville.

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He said he expected one of the Toyota drivers, including David Reutimann, Mike Bliss and Dave Blaney, to eventually win. Reutimann finished third, and Bliss placed ninth.

“We’ve all been running good,” Leffler said. “When we all run good, we all run good together. I knew it was going to be close who was going to do it, but I knew it was going to come soon.”

Two racers who started at the back of the pack, Reutimann and Carl Edwards, finished third and fourth. Reutimann started 40th out of 43 cars, and Edwards started 41st.

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Justin Wilson took the pole position with a 49.039-second lap with only 1 minute 30 seconds left in qualifying at the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway.

Sebastien Bourdais, the overall Champ Car points leader who won the previous two San Jose Grand Prix races, will start second thanks to his qualifying victory Friday, though his Saturday time was only the sixth-best of the session.

Dan Clarke and Oriol Servia are in the second row, with rookies Neel Jani and Graham Rahal lining up in Row 3.

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Mike Ashley took a big step toward securing one of the seven remaining spots in the Countdown to the Championship field with a top qualifying effort in funny car in the 20th annual Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Sonoma, Calif.

Ashley (4.743 seconds) and top-fuel leader Doug Herbert (4.556) used their Friday night passes to wrap up their No. 1 spots at Infineon Raceway, while pro stock frontman Greg Anderson needed to improve to 6.605 seconds on Saturday to stay on top.

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Division leader Rip Michels of San Fernando started fourth and grabbed the lead from pole-sitter Dan Moore of Burbank on the first lap and led the rest of the way to win the ACDelco Super Late Model 50-lap feature race at Irwindale Speedway. Moore finished second and Andrew Phipps of Simi Valley third.

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