NASCAR: Watch Kyle Busch Hold off Jimmie Johnson in GWC Finish at Michigan

Luke KrmpotichContributor IIAugust 21, 2011

Kyle Busch held off Jimmie Johnson in a green-white-checkered finish at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

Busch picked up his first win at Michigan and in so doing prevented Jimmie Johnson from gaining his first win at the track.

Neither driver had the best car of the afternoon, however.

For the second consecutive race at Michigan, Greg Biffle led the most laps but failed to have a good finish to show for it. In the June race, Biffle led 68 laps but finished 15th. Today, he sat on the pole and led even more laps, 86, but finished a disappointing 20th.

With the win, his series-leading fourth of the 2011 season, Busch clinched at least a wild card berth in the Chase. He also took over sole possession of the points lead, as Carl Edwards experienced electrical problems and finished 36th. Busch now leads second-place Jimmie Johnson by 10 points, with Kevin Harvick a distant third at 39 points back.

The green-white-checkered finish was set up when Kurt Busch brushed the wall on lap 197, erasing Kyle Busch's significant lead and bunching the field up for the dash to the checkers.

Third-place Brad Keselowski scored another top finish on the heels of his runner-up effort at Watkins Glen last Sunday. Keselowski moved up to a career-high 12th in the standings, and with two victories, is firmly entrenched as the first wild card for the Chase.

Fourth-place Mark Martin earned just his second top-5 of the season, while Ryan Newman got past Jeff Gordon on the last lap to finish fifth. Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top 10.

On the Chase bubble, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished a respectable 14th while Tony Stewart came home a strong ninth. The two drivers maintained their positions of ninth and tenth in the standings, 30 and 24 points ahead of 11th-place Clint Bowyer, respectively.

Denny Hamlin had a bad day and finished 35th, falling from 12th to 14th in the points. However, he still commands the second wild card spot by virtue of his victory in the previous Michigan event. Fellow one-time winners Paul Menard and David Ragan are 18 and 31 points behind Hamlin, respectively.