Kyle Busch wins NASCAR Sprint Cup cham­pi­onship

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MIAMI: Kyle Busch com­pleted a fairy­tale come­back story by cap­tur­ing his first NASCAR Sprint Cup cham­pi­onship on Sun­day. Busch en­dured a long re­cov­ery from a fright­en­ing crash at the sea­son-open­ing race at Day­tona In­ter­na­tional Speedway yet took home the ti­tle at the sea­son fi­nale at Home­stead-Miami Speedway.

The 30-year-old Busch was top fin­isher in the Ford EcoBoost 400 among cham­pi­onship beat­ing out con­tend­ing driv­ers Kevin Har­vick, Jeff Gor­don and Martin Truex Jr “Pretty un­be­liev­able. I just can’t be­lieve it with ev­ery­thing that hap­pened this year,” Busch told re­porters.

“All the tur­moil that I went through, that my fam­ily went through. This is for ev­ery­one that sac­ri­ficed so much to get me to this place to­day.” Har­vick, the reign­ing cham­pion, fin­ished a dis­tant sec­ond. Gor­don took sixth in what he says will be the fi­nal race of his dec­o­rated ca­reer, and Truex Jr. came in 12th.

Af­ter a cau­tion flag late in the race, Busch was sec­ond with seven laps re­main­ing but ma­noeu­vred past leader Brad Ke­selowski and held on. The end re­sult looked like a dis­tant dream early in the year when Busch’s crash left him with a bro­ken right leg and bro­ken left foot.

Busch missed 11 races and NASCAR granted him a waiver to make the Chase pro­vided he was able to win a race and crack the top 30 in points be­fore the end of the 26-race reg­u­lar sea­son at Rich­mond In­ter­na­tional Race­way.

Busch met both re­quire­ments then held steady in the Elim­i­na­tor Round with three top­five fin­ishes to ad­vance on points to the Cham­pi­onship 4. Fel­low driver Dale Earn­hardt Jr tweeted con­grat­u­la­tions to Busch and his Joe Gibbs Rac­ing team. “Amaz­ing come­back through­out the year,” said Earn­hardt.

Sea­son-end­ing race

Mean­while, In­done­sian driver Rio Haryanto and Bri­tain’s Jor­dan King will test with the Manor Marus­sia For­mula One team in Abu Dhabi af­ter next week­end’s sea­son-end­ing race.

The test to­day at the Yas Ma­rina grand prix cir­cuit is be­ing run by Pirelli to eval­u­ate the con­struc­tion of slick tyres for 2016 as well as a new ul­tra­soft com­pound to be in­tro­duced next sea­son. Both Haryanto and King have com­peted in the GP2 sup­port se­ries this year. King is the team’s of­fi­cial de­vel­op­ment driver, but has yet to get be­hind the wheel of a For­mula One car, while Haryanto will be tak­ing part in his third F1 test af­ter ones with the same team in 2010 and 2012. “I’m really look­ing for­ward to be­ing back with the team at the Abu Dhabi test,” said Haryanto, who took part in his first test at the age of 17 and won three GP2 races this sea­son.

“In many ways it is es­sen­tially the same team, al­though the car is quite dif­fer­ent. “I feel much bet­ter pre­pared for this test, and af­ter a very com­pet­i­tive sea­son in GP2, I can’t wait to show how much I have de­vel­oped to be­come a more com­plete driver,” he added.

Manor are the only For­mula One team yet to con­firm any driv­ers for 2016. Their driv­ers this sea­son have been Bri­tain’s Will Stevens, Amer­i­can Alexan­der Rossi and Spa­niard Roberto Merhi. — Agen­cies

HOME­STEAD: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Crispy Toy­ota, poses with his wife Sa­man­tha in Vic­tory Lane af­ter win­ning the se­ries cham­pi­onship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Se­ries Ford EcoBoost 400 at Home­stead-Miami Speedway on Sun­day in Home­stead, Florida. — AFP

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