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Kyle Busch leads after 100 miles of Auto Club 400 race

March 25, 2012|By John Cherwa
  • Tony Stewart during driver introductions on Sunday at the Auto Club 400. His car was moving well for the first 100 miles.
Tony Stewart during driver introductions on Sunday at the Auto Club 400.… (Jonathan Ferrey / Getty…)

Kyle Busch took the lead early and held it after 100 miles of the Auto Club 400 in Fontana.

There was no doubt that the drivers had a sense of urgency when the race started as the sky grew darker. Denny Hamlin won the first lap but soon gave up the lead to Busch on the second lap. By the sixth lap Busch had even extended his lead to almost a second.

Tony Stewart, who started ninth, made a move as the race progressed. By the 18th lap he had moved up to fourth. By the 19th lap he passed Greg Biffle to move into third. On the 28th lap, Stewart moved up one more position and was 1.3 seconds behind Busch.

Meanwhile, the temperature was cooling down as the rain approached and the pit crews and drivers were trying to figure out how the track conditions would change.

The first set of pit stops came around Lap 33, with the leaders coming in on 36. After the stop, Busch retook the lead with Hamlin running second and Stewart in third. Busch's crew did an exceptional job as his car had a three-second lead.

But, at this point, it appears that Stewart has the fastest car.

At the 100-mle point, Stewart was second followed by Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Biffle, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards.

ALSO:

Jeff Gordon off to shaky start of season

Joey Logano picks up Nationwide victory

Kyle Busch leads after 100 miles of Auto Club 400 race

Auto Club 400 getting ready to start with rain looming

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