Edwards triumphs easily at Bristol, adds Nextel points

BRISTOL, Tenn. - Carl Edwards picked up another 10 bonus points to use in his pursuit of the Nextel Cup title with a dominating victory last night in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Edwards passed Kasey Kahne for the lead with 166 laps to go and wasn't challenged the rest of the way as he drove to his second victory of the season. He beat Kahne to the line by 1.405 seconds, then did his trademark backflip on the finish line to celebrate.

The top 12 drivers in the standings will run for the Nextel Cup title, and they will be seeded based on the bonus points earned through "regular season" victories. Edwards has 20 points, which would tie him with Kurt Busch for third place when the Chase for the Championship begins Sept. 16 in New Hampshire.

Only Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson (four wins each) and Tony Stewart (three) have more.

Clint Bowyer finished third, Stewart was fourth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fifth.

The Chase standings didn't change much, as Kurt Busch is still holding down the 12th and final position with two races to go.

Busch Series

BRISTOL, Tenn. - NASCAR's errant call against Kyle Busch was still being discussed yesterday, as drivers wondered what kind of recourse they have when they don't agree with a call.

NASCAR said Busch crossed the commitment line for pit road - and then didn't pit - during a caution in Friday night's Busch race and ordered him to forfeit his second-place position.

Although his Hendrick Motorsports team disagreed with the call, Busch served the penalty and dropped back to 28th, which cost him a shot at winning the Food City 250. He finished fourth; Kasey Kahne won the event.

Shortly after the race resumed, NASCAR said Busch did not cross the line and should not have been penalized.

During the drivers' meeting before last night's Nextel Cup race, four-time series champion Jeff Gordon asked NASCAR what teams should do if they disagree with a call.

Race director David Hoots said the teams should convey their thoughts to a NASCAR official, who will radio it to the scoring tower for review.

Indy Racing League

SONOMA, Calif. - Series points leader Dario Franchitti earned his second pole of the season, and Andretti Green Racing teammate Danica Patrick matched her career-best second-place qualifying effort at Infineon Raceway.

The Scotsman was fastest in single-lap qualifying for today's Motorola Indy 300, turning the 2.26-mile, 12-turn natural-terrain road course in a time of 1 minute, 16.7017 seconds (107.167 m.p.h.).

Patrick, who is still looking for her first IndyCar win, was the only one of the six drivers to improve in the final session, leaping from sixth with a lap of 1:17.1812 (107.325).

Formula One

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Felipe Massa took a step toward repeating last year's victory in the Turkish Grand Prix after claiming the pole.

The Ferrari driver had the fastest time in qualifying for today's race with 1 minute, 27.329 seconds at the 3.316-mile Istanbul Park circuit. McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was second at 1:27.373, and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third at 1:27.546.

Champ Car World Series

ZOLDER, Belgium - Sebastien Bourdais won his fifth pole position of the season and the 30th of his career in the final qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The 28-year-old Frenchman is bidding to become the first driver to win four consecutive Champ Car series titles before joining Formula One next year.