After Busch won for the second time in three races, prevailing in a rare Tuesday NASCAR event after two days of rain postponements at Michigan International Speedway, he gave most of the credit for the change of attitude to team owner Roger Penske.
Working under Roger, finding his ways and how to deal with people, whether its internally or with our sponsors, it really gave me a better perspective what this racing thing is all about, said Busch, who joined Penske Racing in 2005, replacing longtime star Rusty Wallace in the teams No. 2 Dodge.
Maybe before I pushed too hard thinking that maybe I could predict or control the outcome of races and not use the team atmosphere, Busch said. Im happy flying under the radar and Im happy delivering wins for our sponsors and, right now, the most important thing is getting into the Chase (for the Nextel Cup championship).
Winning the 3M Performance 400, Busch took a big step toward that goal.
The 2004 Cup champion solidified his berth in the 12-man lineup for the upcoming Chase, holding off Martin Truex Jr. in the closing laps for the 17th win of his career.
NASCARs top circuit had never run on a Tuesday after a weather postponement during the modern era, which began in 1973.
The race was originally scheduled to be run Sunday, but two days of rain kept the cars off the track. Other than a 32-minute fog delay Tuesday after the first 10 laps, the race was run without any more weather problems.
A spin by Greg Biffle with just two laps remaining sent the race into overtime. But Busch easily pulled away from Truexs DEI Chevrolet when the green flag waved for a two-lap sprint on lap 202.
Busch, who didnt take his first lead until lap 101 and wound up leading four times for 92 laps, beat Truex to the finish by 0.495 seconds about eight car lengths on the high-banked, 2-mile oval.
Reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson finished third, followed by Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Dave Blaney and Carl Edwards, who won here in June.
With just three races remaining until the start of the 10-race stock car playoff, Busch remains 12th in the standings, 33 points behind Truex. Dale Earnhardt Jr. jumped past Ryan Newman into 13th, but a slow pit stop late in the race cost him and he finished 12th.
Series leader Jeff Gordon, who started from the pole, was in the top five most of the day before some late problems relegated him to a 27th-place finish