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Vickers pulls off surprise victory in Cup race at Loudon

The SportsXchange

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

Distributed by The Sports Xchange

LOUDON, N.H. -- Surprise!

Part-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers has made the most of his stint in Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota.

In a green-white-checkered-flag finish, Vickers sped away from Kyle Busch in overtime and took the checkered flag .582 seconds ahead of Busch to win Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The third victory of Vickers' career was his first since August 2009. Jeff Burton ran third, followed by pole sitter Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola. Series leader Jimmie Johnson, whose qualifying time was disallowed because of a ride-height violation on Friday, rallied to finish sixth.

Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon completed the top 10. Tony Stewart led 84 laps but ran out of fuel on the next-to-last circuit and finished 26th.

Stewart was leading and in full fuel-conservation mode when contact between the Chevys of Paul Menard and Jeff Gordon sent Gordon spinning in Turn 2 on Lap 258. NASCAR called the 11th caution of the race because of the accident, leaving Stewart and Busch to restart side-by-side on Lap 263.

Stewart held the top spot for 24 laps, but Vickers shoed his muscle late in the race, passed Kyle Busch for second on Lap 283 and powered past Stewart on the frontstretch four laps later. Vickers was cruising toward his first victory in four years, when NASCAR called a caution on Lap 297 of 301 and sent the race to overtime.

But the caution only forestalled Vickers' triumph for one extra lap, as he beat Busch to the finish in a two-lap Sprint.
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