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NASCAR roundup: Busch gets 10th win

The SportsXchange

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

Distributed by The Sports Xchange

JOLIET, Ill. -- Chalk up another win from the pole for Kyle Busch.

And give the driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota two legs up on a weekend sweep at Chicagoland Speedway.

In Saturday's Dollar General 300, Busch won his 10th NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 20 starts this season, leading 195 of the 200 laps in claiming the record 61st victory of his career.

Busch became the first driver to win from the pole in NNS competition at Chicagoland, although he's certainly no stranger to winning from the top starting spot.

In Saturday morning's time trials, Busch won his eighth pole of the season. He has converted seven of those into victories.

Joey Logano ran second, but no other driver proved a threat to Busch's dominance. Sam Hornish Jr. finished third and extended his lead in the series standings to 17 points over Austin Dillon, who came home fourth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fifth, followed by Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth, Parker Kligerman, Kevin Harvick and rookie Nelson Piquet Jr.

Having won Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland, Busch will go for the second three-series weekend sweep of his career in Sunday's GEICO 400 Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile track.

Having led 153 of the first 158 laps, Busch held a lead of more than three seconds when Brett Butler plowed into the back of title contender Elliott Sadler's No. 11 Toyota as Sadler was slowing to enter pit road.

Lead-lap cars came into the pits on Lap 160 for tires and fuel, leaving them with enough gas to finish the race comfortably.

Busch was first off pit road for a restart on Lap 164, but one circuit later, a caution for debris slowed the field for the fourth time.

Busch pulled away after a Lap 170 restart and stretched his lead until Kyle Larson blew a left rear tire and smacked the outside wall in Turn 2, spewing debris throughout the corner.

That wasn't the last yellow.

One circuit after a restart on Lap 182, Justin Allgaier's Chevrolet clipped the outside wall, bounced into Regan Smith's Chevy and sent it spinning down the backstretch.

Smith, who entered the race third in the series standings, stayed on the lead lap but restarted 18th when Busch led the field to green on Lap 187.

Smith worked his way up to 13th by the finish, but lost ground to Hornish, as did Sadler, who ran 19th, one lap down.

---After meeting with teams, crew chiefs and drivers for more than 15 minutes at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, NASCAR announced rules changes that will affect Chase races.

The changes come after last week's controversy involving race fixing. They take effect with Sunday's first Chase race of the season.

Teams and drivers cannot offer positions for benefit, ask another driver to give up position, cause an intentional caution or cause an intentional wreck. Also, a camera will be placed on the spotter stand to help NASCAR monitor on-track activity.

Only one team spotter is allowed on the stand and only analog radios are permitted on the stand. Digital radios are prohibited there.

"Today's technical bulletin addresses the subject of team(s) artificially altering the outcome of a race and the level of reaction that this will receive from NASCAR," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition, said in a statement. "We reinforced this issue to the teams in our meeting earlier today and conveyed what is considered unacceptable in our officiating of the event."

NASCAR chairman Brian France and president Mike Helton said it would be made clear what the code of conduct is and where the line should be drawn for teams working together on track after resetting its Chase for the Sprint Cup field for a second time this week and adding Jeff Gordon.

The addition of a 13th driver to the 12-driver Chase is unprecedented.

"Circumstances happened that are unhelpful in the credibility category," France said, according to USA Today. "There's no doubt about that."

Teams often make deals with other teams within organizations or under the same manufacturer umbrella to improve track position or pick up a point or lead a lap when needed.

France said the rules to limit teamwork came about after last week's controversial finish at Richmond International Raceway when several drivers believed that Michael Waltrip Racing tried to rig the finish so driver Martin Truex Jr. could qualify for the Chase.

"This is what (the drivers) want," France said. "They don't like team rules and they don't like some of the things that have gone on in the past."

NASCAR took away 50 points from all three MWR drivers, fined the team $300,000, placed general manager Ty Norris on probation and replaced Truex Jr. with Ryan Newman.

Gordon was added to the field after in-race audio surfaced earlier this week that showed possible collusion between Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing. NASCAR said that Gordon did not have a fair chance to make the Chase.
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