Kyle Busch pulled away Sunday on a restart with 11 laps to go and outran AJ Allmendinger to the finish for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, and a sweep of the two-race weekend.
Busch, who won for the first time in 31 starts at Martinsville in a truck race on the 0.526-mile oval on Saturday, dominated in the premier division in bright sunshine but cool temperatures that never let the track get quite as sticky as it normally does.
He led 352 laps, the most since Bobby Hamilton led 378 on April 20, 1998.
The finish looked nothing like the leaderboard for most of the race, but Busch and teammate Matt Kenseth stayed out when a caution flew with 15 laps to go while the rest of the contenders pitted for fresher tires.
When the green flag flew, Busch sailed off, Allmendinger beat Kenseth to the inside position and Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate got hung up on the outside and faded to a 15th-place finish.
It was a reversal of the events of the previous restart, with 34 laps to go, when Busch and Kenseth worked together.
That time, Busch restarted on the inferior outside, likely with an agreement that Kenseth would let him grab the top spot, and the two once again seemed to be the best cars.
But with 11 laps left, teammate deals were off, and Busch opted for the superior inside line.
Rosberg makes it five in a row
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg became the eighth man in Formula One history to win five consecutive races with a victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir, and will now aim to do what all the other seven did: Go on to capture the championship title.
Rosberg made it back-to-back wins to start the new season, and five in a row dating to 2015, with a comfortable victory, capitalizing on a first-corner collision involving teammate Lewis Hamilton and an engine failure that prevented Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel from starting the race.
He led throughout to win by 10.2 seconds at the Sakhir circuit over Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, with Hamilton third.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth and Romain Grosjean fifth in another encouraging performance by the new American-based Haas team. Toro Rosso teenager Max Verstappen was sixth and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat seventh, ahead of the Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, with McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne in 10th to take a point on his F1 debut.
Brown powered his dragster to a 3.843-second pass at 314.60 mph to defeat first-time finalist Troy Buff, who trailed in his dragster with a run of 3.918 at 307.58.
Alexis DeJoria (funny car) and Jason Line (pro stock) also were winners in their categories in the fourth of 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing events.