Grit Chips 300 at Bristol

Kyle Busch edges Larson in Tennessee

jutter@charlotteobserver.comMarch 16, 2013 

— It was Kyle vs. Kyle and the winner was a familiar one.

Kyle Busch barely edged upstart Kyle Larson at the checkered flag after a grueling battle to win Saturday’s Grit Chips 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The victory should come as no surprise as Busch continues to be the NASCAR Nationwide Series all-time race winner (53) and collected his fifth win at Bristol.

What was somewhat surprising was that it was the 20-year-old Larson who ended up going one-on-one with Busch for the win in the final laps.

The two came off Turn 4 on the final of 300 laps nearly side-by-side and Busch grabbed the win by .023 seconds.

“He’s got a lot of talent,” said Busch of Larson. “Obviously, he’s already made a name for himself and he’s got a lot going for him. I’m 27 and I feel like I’m getting old.

“Every time I looked in the rear view mirror he caught me, so I stopped looking. I didn’t want to know where he was at. I knew he was looking low so I took the safe route and let (Larson) take the top.”

Larson credited his run to his Turner Scott Motorsports team and crew chief, Trent Owens.

“We were about a 17th place car in practice (Friday) and the crew changed a ton of stuff to make it better,” Larson said.

“I tried to use up as much (of my car) on that last lap to get in front of (Busch). It was just a heck of a race.”

Brian Vickers finished third, points leader Sam Hornish Jr. was fourth and Kevin Harvick was fifth.

Brad Keselowski appeared headed to the victory when he a flat left-front tire forced him to pit road on Lap 194 and Harvick inherited the lead.

With 62 laps remaining, Busch made his way around Harvick for the lead, which he would not relinquish.

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