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Busch, a five-time Bristol winner who hasn't been to Victory Lane at the bullring since 2006, was irate over his radio at the loss. He settled for third behind Johnson and Stewart, missing his chance to win his second consecutive race of the season and prove his Penske Racing team has made enough gains to run consistently with Johnson and the Hendrick Motorsports bunch.
"I'd rather lose to any of the other 41 cars out there than the 48 car," Busch said. "I thought we had him beat. I gave it my heart today, but we came up short."
It was Johnson's third win of the season and 50th of his career. Next up for Johnson is Martinsville Speedway, where he's won five of the last seven races, a stat not lost on Busch.
"They're going to be tough next week at Martinsville. We'll be lucky to finish 10th," Busch said. "That's why I was really pouring my heart and soul into winning this one. He's going to have a solid car next week."
Biffle finished fourth and was followed by his Roush Fenway Racing teammates Kenseth and Edwards. Dale Earnhardt Jr. overcame a speeding penalty to finish seventh, Jamie McMurray was eighth and Kyle Busch and Jeff Burton rounded out the top 10.
Kevin Harvick maintained his lead in the Sprint Cup Series standings by finishing 11th.
Johnson became only the 12th driver in NASCAR history to win 50 races. He reached the milestone in his 296th start, and only three drivers did it faster: Jeff Gordon (232), Darrell Waltrip (278) and David Pearson (293).
Even with his stats, though, team owner Rick Hendrick doesn't think his driver gets his due.
"If you look at the stats and you look at the talent and you look at the dedication, just look at his record -- I don't understand why it's not written now he's one of the best that's ever done this," Hendrick said. "You look at Jeff, and I've been around for a long time, I've watched a lot of guys from Richard Petty on up to current day.
"When you look at the level of competition since he's been in the sport, what he's done, what he's accomplished, I mean, I don't know what he's got to do."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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