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Kyle Busch Chase-Bound Thanks to Atlanta Victory

Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, drives under a canopy of leaves during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Baltimore auto race on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, drives under a canopy of leaves during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Baltimore auto race on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Hampton, Ga. — Kyle Busch locked up his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with his fourth victory of the year Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Busch emerged with the lead after a rapid-fire series of caution flags near the end, and he held off hard-charging Joey Logano to win by 0.740 seconds.

Martin Truex Jr, racing with a broken right wrist, took third on the 1.54-mile trioval, followed by Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman.

The rest of the top 10: Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers.

Fur Flies at Truck Race

Bowmanville, Ontario — Chase Elliott wrecked Ty Dillon on the last lap Sunday to win the NASCAR Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and a driver’s angry girlfriend got into action when she slapped a rival racer.

Elliott, the son of former Sprint Cup driver Bill Elliott, plowed into Dillon on the final turn on the 2.459-mile road course to take the lead and went on to his first series victory. At 17 years, 9 months, 4 days, he became the youngest winner in series history.

Dillon dropped to 17th, the last car on the lead lap, in the series’ first race in Canada and first on a road course since 2000 at Watkins Glen.

The ending of the race was overshadowed by a post-race altercation between Max Papis and the girlfriend of driver Mike Skeen, who approached Papis after the race and slapped him across the face.

Papis and Skeen had been battling for third in the closing laps of the race until contact between the two on the last lap ruined Papis’ finish. The two hit again during the cool-down lap, and Papis voiced his displeasure about Skeen during his post-race interview.

When he finished talking he was approached by a woman later identified as Skeen’s girlfriend and slapped across the face.

Papis complained to NASCAR officials about the incident and said on Twitter the slap dislocated his jaw.

Skeen, meanwhile, said Papis entered his team hauler after the incident and tried to pull his girlfriend down the stairs as he tried to get past her while looking for the driver.

IndyCar

Pagenaud Wins Crash-fest

Baltimore — Simon Pagenaud emerged as the winner of a collision-marred Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sunday, charging to the lead after a series of mishaps involving several other contenders — including one involving rivals Scott Dixon and Will Power.

It was the second career win for Pagenaud, both this year. The 29-year-old Frenchman became the third driver to win in three years on the bumpy, challenging street course that runs through the middle of the city.

Josef Newgarden was second, the best finish of his career, and Sebastien Bourdais took third.

Last week at Sonoma, Dixon led until he received a drive-through penalty with 15 laps to go for hitting a tire in the left hand of Power’s tire holder. Dixon won the race.

In this one, Power swerved right in a crowd in front of Dixon during a restart on the 53rd lap. Power clipped the wall, and Dixon lost control and smacked into the wall, ending his day.

Power made it to the pit, but he was given a penalty for interference and finished 18th, one spot ahead of Dixon.

The restart came after a pileup on the turn in front of the baseball stadium. On Lap 48, Graham Rahal spun Dixon and created a logjam involving five cars.

Minutes before that, IndyCar points leader Helio Castroneves received a black flag for a safety violation during a restart. Castroneves finished ninth.

Tony Kanaan, the Indianapolis 500 winner, made IndyCar history by participating in his 212th consecutive race. He eclipsed the mark held by Jimmy Vasser while driving in the No. 11 Chevrolet for Vasser’s KV Racing team. Kanaan hit the wall near the end of the race and finished 15th.

Ryan Hunter-Reay fell off the pace early with an electronics issue and never recovered. The defending Grand Prix of Baltimore champion was forced to withdraw from the race after 42 laps with mechanical difficulties.

“It just died all of a sudden,” he said.

Hunter-Reay started the day in third place in the point standings, 70 points behind Castroneves.

“To see the championship slip away, it’s frustrating,” he said.

James Jakes and Takuma Sato dropped out of the race early with mechanical difficulties. Luca Filippi followed, and Dario Franchitti broke down for good after 22 laps. It was a particularly bad day for Franchitti, who before the race received a 10-spot grid penalty for an unapproved engine change.

Before the race, IndyCar officials placed rookie Tristan Vautier on probation and fined him $10,000 for actions during qualifying on Saturday, when his car made contact with the car driven by Graham Rahal under a waving yellow flag condition.