Share this article

print logo

Kurt Busch breaks through; First road win comes at Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. -- It certainly seemed as if Kurt Busch's season was in serious trouble just two months ago, when poor performances led to an intense radio tirade against his entire Penske Racing organization.

What could have destroyed his race team has actually had the opposite effect.

Busch's impressive turnaround continued Sunday with a dominating run at Infineon Raceway, where he earned his first career road course victory and his first win of the season.

"We've been on a great run these last few weeks," Busch said. "To get a road course win, it's a big check mark on my list. It's just really neat to bring home that 'W.' "

Busch led a race-high 76 laps and beat Jeff Gordon by almost 4 seconds for his first win of the season. It's a marked turn for Busch, who unraveled over his team radio at Richmond in early May because of how poorly his Dodge had been running.

The rant led to behind-the-scenes changes at Penske Racing that have sparked both Busch and teammate Brad Keselowski, who won at Kansas earlier this month. Busch, despite three consecutive poles, was winless but inching closer and closer.

It finally came on a road course, of all places. Busch was winless in 10 career starts at both Sonoma and Watkins Glen, the only two road courses on the Sprint Cup circuit. And Busch helped Keselowski finish 10th with advice and a tour of the track on Friday.

"It's a good feeling to know that the two teams are working as closely together as they ever have," Busch said. "Knowing that Brad is definitely maturing, seeing him bust off a top 10 at a road course is great. We went around the race track, I pointed out some of the apex points, exit points, shifting points. He absorbed it like a sponge.

"That's what it takes as a veteran of the team to help the kid that's coming up through and to have his information help us. That's exactly what's helped both teams get stronger."

***

Vettel wins again

VALENCIA, Spain -- Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won his sixth race of the season at the European Grand Prix, building on his already commanding Formula One series lead.

Vettel beat Fernando Alonso of Ferrari by 10.891 seconds for his second straight victory along Valencia's street circuit. It was the German's fifth win this season starting in pole.

Vettel, the defending F1 champion, extended his championship lead to 77 points with his 16th career victory. He leads with 186 points, while Button and Webber are tied for second.

There are no comments - be the first to comment