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Sprint Cup: Kyle Busch wins Russ Friedman 400 on his 24th birthday

Kyle Busch jumps into the arms of his crew in Victory Lane as he celebrates winning the Russ Friedman 400.

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Kyle Busch jumps into the arms of his crew in Victory Lane as he celebrates winning the Russ Friedman 400.

RICHMOND, Va. — Kyle Busch celebrated his 24th birthday with a trip to Victory Lane, winning the Russ Friedman 400 on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.

The win snapped a monthlong losing streak — an eternity by Busch's standards — and made him just the second NASCAR driver to win a Sprint Cup race on his birthday. Cale Yarborough did it twice, celebrating his March 27th birthday with wins at North Wilkesoboro in 1977 and Atlanta in 1983.

Busch celebrated the win with his trademark sarcastic bow to the crowd then swan-dived into the arms of his Joe Gibbs Racing crew once in Victory Lane.

"It's an awesome win for us," Busch said. "It's really exciting to win on my birthday. … We struggled for four weeks. It's been a struggle for us — we haven't finished where we want to. We made it happen here."

The win was his third since arriving in Richmond: He drove to a victory in teammate Denny Hamlin's charity race at Southside Speedway on Thursday night and used a pass of Carl Edwards with 22 laps to go to win Friday's Nationwide series race.

For the Cup win, Busch used a quick jump on a late restart to again pass Edwards, then he set his sights on leader Jeff Gordon. Busch raced past Gordon on the next lap then held on for the Richmond sweep.

It is Busch's series-best third Cup win of the season and 50th of his career spanning NASCAR's top three series.

"It is an awesome night," Busch said. "This is so exciting for me. I know this is another big win this year."

Tony Stewart was second, followed by Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman and Mark Martin.

Busch credited one final caution-free run for being able to hold off Stewart, who had fresher tires.

"Those guys had to run us down," he said. "We took four tires, and then we were going to stay out from then on out. We made the most of the effort. I didn't think we could do it. I knew we had a good car, not a great car.

"All you have to do is hang around with a good car and let the race fall your way."

Sam Hornish was a career-best sixth to continue a three-race upswing. He notched the first top 10 of his career at Phoenix, and he was running inside the top 10 at Talladega last week until he was part of the 10-car accident with 11 laps to go.

Jamie McMurray came back from a midrace spin to finish seventh and was followed by Gordon, Casey Mears and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Mosley: Formula One can live without Ferrari

MADRID — FIA president Max Mosley says Formula One can go on without Ferrari, if necessary.

The head of the sport's governing body rebuked criticism from the Italian team over claims that a proposed voluntary budget cap for 2010 will damage the sport by giving an unfair advantage to the teams that sign up for it.

"The sport could survive without Ferrari," Mosley said in Saturday editions of Financial Times. "It would be very, very sad to lose Ferrari. It is the Italian national team."

Mosley is leading the FIA's push to curb costs, with a voluntary $59 million budget cap.

NHRA: Morgan Lucas took the top spot in Top Fuel qualifying in the Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Stanfield (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) topped their divisions.

Sprint Cup: Kyle Busch wins Russ Friedman 400 on his 24th birthday 05/03/09 [Last modified: Sunday, May 3, 2009 12:17am]
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