MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – David Reutimann failed to qualify for today’s Nextel Cup event at Atlanta, so he soothed his feelings with his first Busch Series win.

Reutimann avoided trouble to capture the caution-filled Sam’s Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday. The 37-year-old Toyota driver endured a green-white-checker finish for his first Busch Series victory in 63 starts. It also was owner Michael Waltrip’s first victory for the manufacturer.

“I was mad in general that I missed the (Atlanta) race,” Reutimann said. “It feels good to win here. The only thing that could make it better is to get on the plane and go back and run the Cup race. That’s not going to happen.”

With the victory, outdistancing second-place finisher Mike Bliss, and some misfortune for points leader Carl Edwards, Reutimann kept his slim championship hopes alive. Edwards needed at least an eighth-place finish to claim the title. He was 25th.

Edwards still leads Reutimann by 531 points with three Busch stops left.

The race had a season-high 25 cautions, which also broke the record of 16 for the Memphis race. The yellows were one short of the Busch Series record of 26 set 1992 at Hickory, N.C.

“It was incredible,” Bliss said. “I couldn’t believe it. We’d get going and here would be a yellow. We’d get going, and there’d be another yellow. I don’t know why.

“It was frustrating. You want to go racing.”

One of the wrecks involved Edwards, effectively diminishing his chance to clinch the series championship on Saturday.


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