HAMPTON, Ga. -- Kyle Busch can rest easy going to Richmond. His spot in the Chase for Sprint Cup championship is secure. Now, hes eager to win a title. One year after missing out on the playoff -- a bitter blow for a driver of his talent -- Busch locked up his berth with a victory Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. More important, the 28-year-old has some much-needed momentum after his fourth Cup win of the season. "A heck of a lot different than 365 days ago, Ill tell you that much," he said. This was the volatile Busch at his best. Early on, he spit out some salty complaints over his radio, the No. 18 Toyota not performing like he wanted. At one point, he called his car "a joke." But the crew kept making adjustments until the driver liked the way it handled. "I appreciate them hanging in there with me, although I was pretty graphic sometimes," Busch said. "Im passionate about winning, man." Then, after a rapid-fire series of caution flags near the end, Busch emerged from the pits with the lead. He held off hard-charging Joey Logano by a comfortable 0.740 seconds. Busch has 16 victories this year over NASCARs top three series, also winning nine times in Nationwide and three times in trucks. But hes still chasing the prize he really wants -- that first Cup title. "The championship is number one on anybodys list," he said. "Ive yet to collect the big prize. One of these days it will happen. Maybe itll be 2013." Martin Truex Jr., racing with a broken right wrist, finished third on the 1.54-mile trioval, followed by Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman. The rest of the top 10 was Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers. Kyle Busch was among four more drivers locking up their spot in the Chase heading to Richmond next weekend, where the 12-car field will be set for the playoff. He was joined by Harvick, Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne, the latter assured of at least a wild card. Points leader Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth had already claimed playoff berths before Atlanta. That means the final five will be determined at Richmond. Logano is one of the top contenders for those remaining spots, going into Richmond eighth in the points and also holding a victory as a wild-card backstop. He had the fastest car on the track at the end of the race, but ran out of time to run down Busch. "Its just frustrating," Logano said. "But in the grand scheme of things, its a big points day for us to get into the Chase going to Richmond. This helps us a lot. A win wouldve helped a lot more." The rest of the top 10 includes Earnhardt (seventh), Greg Biffle (ninth) and Kurt Busch (10th). Gordon is 11th, but hes yet to win a race. For now, the wild cards belong to 12th-place Kahne (two wins) and No. 13 Truex (one win). "The last couple of weeks, weve been battling and passing and having a great time out there," said Gordon, a four-time Cup champion. "We didnt do that earlier in the year, which is why were in the position were in." Bowyer was dominant through the middle of the race, leading 48 laps, but he radioed his crew that that something seemed amiss in his No. 15 car. On Lap 193, those fears became reality when smoke started pouring from the back of his Toyota going into Turn 1. He managed to creep back around to pit road, but he headed straight for the garage, any hope of winning the race snuffed out. "I dont think they wanted to believe me," Bowyer said about his crew. "But I was pretty sure what I was hearing." At least Bowyer wont have to worry about the poor finish -- he wound up 39th -- costing him a spot in the Chase. That wasnt the case for defending Cup champion Brad Keselowski. Winless for the year and on the Chase bubble, he took over the lead and looked as if he had a shot at a much-needed victory. But a couple of cylinders failed and he began dropping back, finally sputtering to a stop 18 laps from the finish. He finished 35th and will go to Richmond knowing he likely needs a victory to even have a shot at taking a second straight title. He slipped to 15th in the standings, 28 points behind Kurt Busch. "Theres just some things you cant control," Keselowski said. "I guess well look at the positive. We were leading the race when it broke. We were doing all the right things. We just didnt put all the pieces together." Busch knows how that feels. He was in that same position a year ago. "This is a humbling sport," Busch said. "Look at what last years champion, what hes going through. Youve got to take the highs with the lows. Certainly Im not very good at taking the lows. Ill be the first to admit it. 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He was second on the line with 72 tackles and had a career-high three sacks. Michael Thomas Jersey . -- Washingtons Bradley Beal seemed to make every shot he took in setting a career high with 37 points.ARIZONA (11-4) at SAN FRANCISCO (7-9)Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOXOPENING LINE — 49ers by 4RECORD VS. SPREAD — Arizona 10-5, San Francisco 4-9-2SERIES RECORD — 49ers lead 28-18LAST MEETING — Cardinals beat 49ers 23-14, Sept. 21LAST WEEK — Cardinals lost to Seahawks 35-6; 49ers lost to Chargers 38-35AP PRO32 RANKING — Cardinals No. 8, 49ers No. 18CARDINALS OFFENSE — OVERALL (28), RUSH (30), PASS (16).CARDINALS Defence — OVERALL (24), RUSH (8), PASS (30).49ERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (23), RUSH (5), PASS (31).49ERS Defence — OVERALL (5), RUSH (7), PASS (5).STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Cardinals snapped four-game skid against 49ers in September win, just Arizonas second victory in 11 matchups. ... Arizona goes into season finale tied with Seahawks (11-4) for first in NFC West but Seattle holds tiebreaker with two wins over Cardinals. Seattle win at home over St. Louis clinches NFCs top seed. ... Cardinals outscored Niners 17-0 in second half of September meeting. Drew Stanton threw two third-quarter touchdown passes to rookie John Brown in rally. ... Cardinals coming off most one-sided loss under coach Bruce Arians. ... Rookie quarterback Logan Thomas probably starts regular-season finale as Stanton recovers from sprained right knee Arians is optimistic will bee healed for playoffs.dddddddddddd Thomas one completion in nine attempts was an 81-yard touchdown pass to Andre Ellington. ... Arizona has gone two games without a touchdown, scoring all 18 of its points on field goals. ... Jim Harbaugh could be coaching final game for 49ers, with one year remaining on $25 million, five-year contract signed in January 2011. Team missed playoffs for first time in four-year tenure after three straight NFC championship game appearances. ... San Francisco also has first skid of more than two games under Harbaugh with four straight losses. ... 49ers RB Frank Gore needs 38 yards for fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season and eighth in 10 NFL seasons. Hed be 11th player in NFL history with eight 1,000-yard seasons. Could be pending free agents last game in San Francisco uniform, though both sides are hopeful that wont happen. ... Niners 355 yards rushing last Saturday against Chargers most in franchise history and most by NFL team since Minnesotas 378 vs. San Diego on Nov. 4, 2007. ... 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