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Busch avoids crashes to get win

HAMPTON, Ga. — Kurt Busch was running out front with three laps to go when things really got interesting.

First, a frightening crash that seemed intentional between two feuding drivers.

Then, another spinning, slamming melee before the white flag came out.

“We’ve got to win this race three times, maybe even four times,” a frustrated Busch said on his radio.

Not to worry. Busch survived a couple of overtime restarts and 16 extra laps to win again Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a race marred by accusations that Carl Edwards purposely wrecked Brad Keselowski’s car, sending it hurtling toward the main stands upside down.

Busch won the spring race at the 1.54-mile trioval for the second year in a row, beating Matt Kenseth to the line by nearly half a second in the Kobalt Tools 500. Juan Pablo Montoya was third, followed by Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard.

“The Deuce is back, baby!” Busch said after his No. 2 Dodge took the checkered flag.

The race went 341 laps instead of its scheduled 325 because of two big crashes near the end. The first one drew the most attention.

Edwards, running 156 laps behind, clipped Keselowski and caused his car to spin, then lift into the air at around 190 mph. It smashed into the barrier in front of the stands roof-first, then flipped back onto the track right side up. Keselowski was OK, but NASCAR ordered Edwards to park his car and summoned him to its trailer.

“That’s not cool,” Keselowski said. “He could have killed someone in the grandstands.”

NASCAR put off a decision on whether to discipline Edwards until at least Monday.