Kyle Busch, who didn't make the field for last year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, earned his fourth victory this season.

Kyle Busch wins at Atlanta, locks up berth in the Chase

Published: Monday, Sep. 2, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 11C

HAMPTON, Ga. – Kyle Busch's crew got his car running like he wanted, then got him on the track ahead of everyone else.

The volatile driver took it from there, locking up a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship that slipped away last year.

Busch held off Joey Logano at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night for his fourth victory of the year.

A year ago, Busch failed to make the 12-car field – a bitter disappointment for a driver of his talent.

"It's a whole different situation than 365 days ago," Busch said. "We needed to prove to ourselves that we're a championship contender."

Busch spit out some salty complaints about his car over the radio early in the race. The crew kept making adjustments until the driver liked the way it handled.

Then, after a rapid-fire series of caution flags near the end, Busch emerged from the pits with the lead. He beat Logano to the line by 0.74 seconds.

"My boys on pit road," Busch said. "They're amazing. I would do anything for them."

Martin Truex Jr., racing with a broken right wrist, was third, followed by Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.

Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne also clinched berths in the Chase heading to Richmond, where the Chase field will be set this weekend.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth already had secured berths, leaving five spots up for grabs.

Logano had the fastest car at the end of the race but ran out of time to chase down Busch.

"It's just frustrating," Logano said. "But in the grand scheme of things, it's a big points day for us to get into the Chase going to Richmond. This helps us a lot. A win would've helped a lot more."

NASCAR Trucks in Bowmanville, Ontario – Chase Elliott wrecked Ty Dillon on the last lap and posted his first series victory, and a driver's angry girlfriend slapped a rival racer.

Elliott, son of former Sprint Cup driver Bill Elliott, became the youngest winner in series history: 17 years, 9 months, 4 days.

After the race, Mike Skeen's girlfriend slapped Max Papis across the face. Skeen and Papis had been battling for third place but made contact on the last lap and the cool-down lap.

Papis complained to NASCAR officials about the incident and said on Twitter the slap dislocated his jaw.

Skeen said Papis entered his team hauler after the incident and tried to pull his girlfriend down the stairs as he tried to get past her while looking for Skeen.

IndyCar in Baltimore – Simon Pagenaud won the collision-marred Grand Prix of Baltimore, taking the lead after a series of mishaps involving several contenders, including rivals Scott Dixon and Will Power.

On a restart on the 53rd lap, Power swerved right in a crowd in front of Dixon while trying to pass Sebastien Bourdais. Power clipped the barrier, and Dixon lost control and smacked into the wall, ending his day.

Power made it to the pit but drew a penalty for interference and finished 18th, one spot ahead of Dixon.

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