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Kyle Busch beats Edwards on restarts to win Lipton Tea 250

Kyle Busch celebrates winning the Lipton 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.

Kyle Busch celebrates winning the Lipton 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.

RICHMOND, Va. – Kyle Busch passed Carl Edwards on the first lap of a restart with 22 laps to go and won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Friday night at Richmond International Raceway.

Busch, who led four times in the Lipton Tea 250, made the move that counted in the third and fourth turns on the 229th trip around the 0.75-mile oval. Edwards led the previous 71 laps, with Busch seemingly the only other driver with a car to contend.

Busch’s Toyota, he said, “was right when it mattered most.”

The Sprint Cup star proved it by passing Edwards to the outside to grab the lead and then twice more on the final restarts – one with eight laps to go and again with five laps remaining.

Busch pulled away easily the second time, and Edwards never really challenged.

The victory was Busch’s third in nine starts this season and 13th since the start of last season, when he missed five races but won 10 and finished sixth in the point standings.

Busch led 115 laps in his third career victory in the series at Richmond.

“I feel like tonight was a good night to get back on track,” Busch said. “Tonight was a race that mattered and we had our biggest challenger behind us in Carl, so it was nice to beat him out, straight up. We had some other issues with the car that we fought through.”

Edwards held on to finish second, followed by Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski.

“He smoked me on the restarts,” said Edwards, second to Busch in the series standings. Edwards remained winless and has finished behind Busch in five consecutive Nationwide races.

Busch’s lead over Edwards in the series standings grew to 82 points.

Busch’s victory was his 24th in the series, pulling him into a tie with Kenseth and Tommy Houston for fifth on the career list. Kenseth said he never had a chance on Friday night.

“I had a pretty solid car. I just could never get it quite right to be able to run with those guys,” Kenseth said.

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