November 9, 2009 in Sports

Field gains on Johnson

Kurt Busch wins after Kyle runs out of gas
Stephen Hawkins Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Kurt Busch celebrates after winning at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
(Full-size photo)

FORT WORTH, Texas – Jimmie Johnson’s drive to history took a hard hit against a wall and Kyle Busch ran out of gas trying to complete an unprecedented NASCAR trifecta.

Kurt Busch drove to Victory Lane at Texas after his younger brother ran out of fuel with 2 1/2 laps left Sunday, finishing 129 laps ahead of the rebuilt car driven by Johnson, who saw his points lead slashed from 184 to 73 over Hendrick teammate Mark Martin with two races left.

“It was definitely not the day we wanted,” Johnson said. “It’s not as bad as it could have been. At one point I was told to hop out of car and I was done. … It’s still a big ouch.”

Johnson, the series points leader trying to become the first Sprint Cup driver to win four consecutive season championships, wrecked on the third lap when he was knocked into the wall by Sam Hornish. Johnson finished 38th after his crew needed more than an hour to repair and basically rebuild his No. 48 Chevrolet.

“I’m still in great position. We’re going to dust ourselves off,” Johnson said.

Coming out of Turn 2 on the third lap, Hornish got loose after being tapped by David Reutimann. Hornish made contact with Johnson, who scraped the outside wall.

It looked as if Johnson might save his car before he was hit again by Hornish, then slammed into the inside wall.

“By the time that I knew that I was hit, I was already sideways,” Hornish said. “I was just trying to correct it and not get into the 48. Obviously, you don’t ever want to detract from the championship when you’re not really even involved in it.”

Kurt Busch got his second victory over the season in the No. 2 Dodge.

Busch’s 20th career victory came with an average speed of 147.137 mph and by a nearly 26-second margin over second-place Denny Hamlin. Matt Kenseth was third.

Kyle Busch, who had already won the Nationwide and Camping World Truck races at Texas, was trying to become the first driver to win in all three of NASCAR’s national series on the same weekend. He led 232 laps and was still ahead when his No. 18 Toyota suddenly slowed on the backstretch on Lap 332.

Jeff Gordon, another Hendrick driver who is third in points, finished 13th after avoiding serious problems of his own. He cut his points deficit to Johnson from 192 to 112 points, though lost ground on Martin.

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