CONCORD, N.C. (AP) – A record number of cautions fell Kyle Busch’s way and he did the rest, holding off a trio of fellow Nextel Cup regulars Saturday night to win the Busch Series Carquest 300 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

With the victory, Busch joined three others who have won consecutive spring races at the track, a week after he became the youngest winner on the truck series. He will start sixth in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night.

“That’s the main thing, that’s the biggest race, that’s the most prestigious race,” Busch said. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication, but I’m up to the task.”

Sterling Marlin, Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle followed Busch to the finish line, with rookie Reed Sorenson rounding out the top five. Four of the 11 cautions slowed the pace in the final 30 laps – not including one for a three-car wreck after the leaders took the checkered flag – but Busch pulled away on each restart to beat Marlin by about a half-second.

He matched the achievements of the late Tim Richmond, Mark Martin and Jeff Green in successfully defending his win from 2004.

Still, the 47-year-old Marlin enjoyed the finish after a miserable start to his season. He sits 19th in the Cup standings and hasn’t finished better than 23rd in the past four races. With no assurances he has a ride with Chip Ganassi Racing next season, he hopes more solid runs will help him find a job.

“The reason I wanted to run Busch this year was to help the Cup car,” Marlin said. “We’ve got a good car over there, and the Cup car drives about like this one. Right now, I’m just looking for something, I’m talking with a few teams, but it’s early now. Stuff will get going in July, and hopefully we’ll have something nailed down.”

Marlin moved to the front with pit strategy, changing only two tires during the eighth caution on lap 143 when the leaders made their final pit stops. Kevin Harvick got fuel only and led when the green fell, but he was no match for Marlin and the rest of the field with newer tires.

When Marlin tried to take the lead, he slipped a bit and Busch passed him for second. Two laps later, Busch ran down Harvick and took the lead, with Marlin quickly moving into second, and that order never changed.

“I got close to him, within about a car length, there with a couple of laps to go, and slow car liked to wrecked us down there in 3 and 4,” Marlin said.

Newman and Biffle charged back through the field to get their chance down the stretch, but they never mounted a serious threat to Marlin. It was Newman’s first start in the developmental series since 2001, and he led 38 laps in what amounted to a practice run for the Cup race.

“It was a good opportunity to learn something about the track, we got about twice as many laps out there as we did last week,” he said. “We’ll carry that information on. I had a lot of fun.”

Pole-sitter Kasey Kahne led the first 40 laps until he was passed by Biffle, then crashed hard in Turn 1 when a tire went flat on lap 54. He finished 41st.

Several wrecks contributed to the amount of yellows, breaking the event mark set in 1993. Point leader Carl Edwards was one of the victims after he was tapped by Ashton Lewis Jr. and bounced off the wall in Turn 4 on lap 122.

Edwards briefly continued after repairs but finished 23 laps down in 35th.

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