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From the Marbles

Kyle Busch nudged out of lead again; finishes third

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Kyle Busch will have to wait a little longer to get that first Martinsville victory.

A day after Johnny Sauter bumped past him for the win in the Camping World Truck Series race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. nudged Busch from the lead with 24 laps to go, the third time that Busch has lost the lead in the closing laps of a Sprint Cup race this season.

Jimmie Johnson and Harvick passed Busch for the win on Lap 198 of last week's Auto Club 400 at California and Jeff Gordon passed Busch on Lap 304 of the 312-lap race at Phoenix.

And yes, it was more of a nudge than a bump. Junior had a faster car than Busch and after the race, Busch said that the contact was fair game for Martinsville. It was nothing like what happened when the two came together in 2008 at Richmond.

After Kevin Harvick got by both drivers, Busch tapped Junior back on the final lap and got inside of Junior but wasn't able to beat him to the finish line.

Despite coming up short those three times,  the top fives have allowed Busch to take the points lead. Busch is five points ahead of second-place Carl Edwards.

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