Busch secures playoff spot with the win at Bristol

by SM Staff On Sun, Aug. 19, 2018

Photo Credit: Ted Seminara, Speedwaymedia.com

Kurt Busch held off Kyle Larson in the final 13 laps and won Saturday nights Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway and secured a 2018 NASCAR Playoff spot. This was his first win of the season, sixth win at Bristol and ended a 58-race winless streak.

This was Kurt Busch’s first victory since 2006 at Bristol and his 30th career win.

“It’s awesome to do it at Bristol. I love this place. We now have won six times here and I have great teams that have always helped me win. This group of guys, Billy Scott, my crew chief, this is his first win and to be able to do it with Ford and Monster and Haas Automation is just what it’s all about is executing as a team and we had good restarts when we had to, and then you’ve got to get clever and start throwing everything at it.” Busch said.

The win is the 13th for Stewart-Haas Racing since it joined Ford last season and the 100th Cup victory for the Fusion and you can bet there was a lot of sports betting in america on the odds of Busch winning this season.

Larson had fresher tires on the final restart but he was unable to close on Busch to challenge for the lead in the final laps. Larson finished second and locks him into the Playoff’s giving him the opportunity to race for a championship in the final 10 races of the Cup Series season.  Larson will be one to bet on to win the championship.  Speaking of betting, you can also check out the great online casino for casino games.

“I think if I had a better car, tires probably would have showed what they are really capable of. This was just a really frustrating day. Our DC Solar Chevy was not very good from lap 1 to lap 500 there, but we fought and got a second place finish out of it. So, I was happy about running second, but just disappointed because I had a lot of confidence going into this race and thought our car was really good.” Larson said.

While running second with 67 laps remaining Martin Truex Jr. was clipped by Kyle Busch and spun and hit the wall. Truex Jr. finished 30th. “He (Busch) probably could’ve shown a little bit more patience. He was a lot faster than me at that point in time. He just caught me and probably another lap or so he would’ve gone right by. Half his fault and half my fault for following the 14 (Clint Bowyer) for so long.” said a frustrated Truex. “It’s just Bristol. Trying to get that first short track win. This place has been so hard on us.”

Busch admitted that the contact was his fault. “Totally my fault, man, I feel terrible about that. Obviously I just misjudged it by a little bit – four inches, six inches, whatever and I got in the gas and was coming up off the corner and was going to slide in behind him (Martin Truex Jr.) and I didn’t think I was next to him yet and I clipped him and sent him for a whale of a ride.” Busch said.

Kyle Busch started third but had early trouble on Lap 2, sending him two laps down. Busch fought back to challenge in the top-five but ultimately finished 20th due to damage to his car.

“This M&M’s Camry was fast, even torn up and wrecked and everything else, it was fast. We had a shot to win the race there, just got to racing with guys three-wide and couldn’t get clear of them and was boxed in by the 11 (Denny Hamlin) and the 11 was choking up the top in front of me.” Busch said.

Larson (2nd), Ryan Blaney (7th) and Brad Keselowski (16th) scored enough points to clinch berths in the playoffs with two races remaining before the playoffs begin. The battle for the final playoff spot by series points is among Alex Bowman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Bowman currently holds a 79 point lead.

The Cup Series is off next weekend and heads to Darlington Raceway on Sept. 2 for the Southern 500.

Unofficial Race Results for the 58Th Annual Bass Pro Shops Nra Night Race
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Bristol Motor Speedway – Bristol, TN – .533 Mile Concrete
Total Race Length – 500 Laps – 266.5 Miles
1 Kurt Busch
2 Kyle Larson
3 Chase Elliott
4 Joey Logano
5 Erik Jones
6 Clint Bowyer
7 Ryan Blaney
8 Alex Bowman
9 Jimmie Johnson
10 Kevin Harvick
11 Trevor Bayne
12 Ryan Newman
13 Austin Dillon
14 Denny Hamlin
15 Kasey Kahne
16 Brad Keselowski
17 David Ragan
18 Daniel Suarez
19 Chris Buescher
20 Kyle Busch
21 Ty Dillon
22 Matt DiBenedetto
23 William Byron
24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
25 Landon Cassill
26 Ross Chastain(i)
27 Blake Jones
28 * Timmy Hill(i)
29 Jamie McMurray
30 Martin Truex Jr.
31 Aric Almirola
32 * JJ Yeley(i)
33 Reed Sorenson
34 Corey LaJoie
35 * Jesse Little(i)
36 Paul Menard
37 Michael McDowell
38 Bubba Wallace
39 AJ Allmendinger
40 * Gray Gaulding

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