SPARTA, Ky. (AP) -- Kyle Busch won the inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night, pulling away from Jimmie Johnson on a restart with three laps to go to collect his 99th NASCAR series victory.
Busch won the Trucks race here on Thursday night and had little trouble finding his way to Victory Lane for the second time in three days at the 1.5-mile oval. He started from the pole and dominated long stretches of the 400-mile race to pick up his third Cup win of the season.
David Reutimman slipped past Johnson to finish second. Ryan Newman was fourth, followed by Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth.
The first visit by NASCAR's top series provided few fireworks on the track, but plenty off it as traffic issues caused major problems for the crowd of over 100,000.
Those who made it inside watched Busch move into the points lead as the season reached its halfway point. Busch leads Edwards by four points heading into next week's race at New Hampshire with about two months to go before the Chase for the championship begins.
Kevin Harvick began the night with the points lead, but slipped to third in the standings after finishing 16th.
Busch rolled to a win in the Trucks race Thursday despite starting from the back. He was forced to do the same Friday and ended up third in the Nationwide race.
Busch wound up on the pole in Kentucky after rain washed out qualifying, and he didn't let the advantage go to waste as he moved within one victory of becoming the third driver in NASCAR history to collect 100 wins across the sport's top three series. The 26-year-old has 22 career Cup wins, 48 in the Nationwide Series and 29 in Trucks.
Yet he's still in search of his first points championship, and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota appears to be ready to take that final step.
The folks at the speedway can only hope to follow suit as their first time in the spotlight revealed a few growing pains.
The track located halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati in northern Kentucky has been clamoring for a Cup date from almost the moment it opened in 2000.
Speedway Motorsports Inc., chairman Bruton Smith lobbied NASCAR successfully last summer for permission to move one of his Cup dates at Atlanta Motor Speedway to Kentucky, believing the new venue would give the series' dog days a much-needed boost.
The drivers spent the week talking openly about the buzz created by the Cup's first new venue since Chicago and Kansas were added to the schedule in 2001 and the challenge of getting over the track's signature bumps in Turns 3 and 4.
It was much ado about nothing. The three-wide racing promised by Smith never materialized and the bumps provided little drama as the race unfolded in a series of long green flag runs, most of them dominated by Busch, who led 125 of the 267 laps.
The only real action of the night seemed to happen outside the gates, as massive gridlock from the over 107,000 fans expected to pack the speedway led to lengthy commutes. There were still fans trickling in as the race went by the halfway point and others were pointed away from the track after it switched to its exit plan as the checkered flag neared.
Track officials acknowledged the traffic was worse than they anticipated and promised to work on remedying issue.
They might want to think about trying to figure out how to put on a more compelling product as the thrills expected by drivers who have tested and raced in other series here for years spent most of the night on their best behavior, the chaos of last week's race at Daytona a distant memory.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)