HAMPTON, Ga. - Kyle Busch wasn’t satisfied with sitting still.
Running third with eight laps remaining, Busch made a daring move around leader Ron Hornaday and second-place Johnny Benson on Lap 123 of 130 to take the lead.
He held off Hornaday by 0.971 seconds to win Saturday’s EasyCare 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It’s Busch”s fifth win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and second at Atlanta.
“I had to go somewhere and those guys ran the middle the first part of the corner, then went to the bottom. I just kept it up on the middle and got a run on the outside,” said Busch, who drove the No. 51 Chevrolet for Billy Ballew Motorsports.
Never miss a local story.
“I never lifted after that. That’s what you got to do to get around this place fast.”
Busch nearly had his run to victory dashed when his driver’s-side window net appeared to come loose late in the race. While NASCAR inquired about it, and could have ordered him to pit road to fix it, Busch used his left hand to hold it in place until the next caution.
“Having to hold the window net made my arm a little tired,” he said. “I was on my last couple of laps of being able to hold it up. I kept trying to keep it inside the pane of the windshield.
“As soon as the caution came out I said, ‘Thank goodness.’ I just let it fall after that. I didn’t care.”
Although Hornaday, the pole-winner, was denied the victory, he reclaimed the lead in the points race. He leads Mike Skinner, who finished fifth Saturday, by four points with three races remaining.
Skinner and Hornaday have swapped the lead five times in the past six races. This is the second-closest points race with (three to go) in series history.
“This is awesome and it’s in one piece, can you believe that? Ron Hornaday brought a truck home without a scratch,” Hornaday said. “You have to run hard every lap.
"Look, Skinner’s back up in the top five. The way we’re going to beat him is to just out-race him as hard as we can.”
Johnny Benson finished third, Mark Martin fourth and Skinner was fifth. Former Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve, who will drive fulltime in Nextel Cup next season for Bill Davis Racing, finished 14th.
The race was slowed five times by caution for 25 laps. There were 11 lead changes among four different drivers.