Jamie McMurray won the Great Clips 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, holding off this season's 10-time winner, Kyle Busch, in front of one of the largest crowds at a Nationwide Series race in the track's history.
"We unloaded today and had pretty much the fastest car on the track," McMurray said. "So cool to win here tonight. Gives us a good feeling going into tomorrow."
Busch was closing in the final laps but couldn't make up the final gap before the end of the 195-lap scheduled distance.
"It didn't quite unfold the way we wanted it to," Busch said. "Typically a long-run car wins here, and we were real good on the short runs."
The second-place finish kept Busch from setting a Nationwide record for the most wins in a single season.
"We came up short tonight," Busch said. "Five laps more and I could have had him. If ... there's always an 'if' in this sport I guess."
Carl Edwards finished third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Matt Kenseth fifth, while former Alpharetta resident Joey Logano ended the night in sixth.
"This is a fun race track. It was like a dirt race, and it was hard to find the line," Edwards said. "I could catch those guys and then I would mess up one lap and I would have to pedal for five or six laps to get back to where I was before I messed up. It was a really tough race and I'm pretty excited about tomorrow - 500 miles, more horsepower."
The Cup regulars agreed that running tonight's Great Clips 300 Nationwide race would be a huge leg up for Sunday's Emory Healthcare 500.
"The track changed - and man, the cars are so much different, but the track's going to change the same," McMurray said, reporting what he thought would be his biggest advantage Sunday.
Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson finished 34th after being sent to the wall on lap 166, while Georgia driver John Wes Townley finished 22nd.
Racing action continues Sunday with the Emory Healthcare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Seats are still available by calling the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at 877-9-AMS-TIX (877-926-7849), 770-946-4211 or by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.