Kyle Busch Stretches Fuel to Win in XFINITY at Kentucky

by Tucker White On Sat, Jul. 08, 2017

SPARTA, Ky. - JULY 08: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 NOS Energy Drink Rowdy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway on July 8, 2017 in Sparta, Kentucky. Photo: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

SPARTA, Ky. — Kyle Busch demonstrated new tires weren’t entirely superior to worn tires and stretched his fuel to win the day-late NASCAR XFINITY Series Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

After caution flew with 34 laps to go, he made the decision to stay out when race leaders Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney pitted. He took off on the restart and extended his record number of victories in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

He noted in victory lane that the win didn’t come easy and it was challenging.

“That’s what racing is all about, these guys keep getting better and we just bide our time a little bit as well today. We did what we needed to do to be there at the end and gave it our best opportunity there. We took four tires and that kind of got us behind there with two pit stops to go and then some of those guys came in again. Obviously our car was really fast out front and once I got in clean air I didn’t think anybody had anything for us,” Busch said.

It’s his 88th career victory in 333 XFINITY Series starts.

Blaney rallied from an outside tire violation to finish runner-up and Jones rounded out the podium.

Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-five.

Joey Logano, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick rounded out the top-10.

RACE RECAP

The field barely made it to the start/finish line for the initial start of the race before the accordion effect of stack up of cars resulted in a multi-car wreck on the frontstretch. It only went two laps green before a wreck in Turn 2, Brendan Gaughan, brought out the second caution on the eighth lap.

The longest green flag run of the first stage was the second on the Lap 15 restart, stretching 11 laps, before caution, a scheduled competition flew on Lap 26

On the Lap 6 restart, Jones passed teammate Busch exiting Turn 2 to take the lead and drove on to win the first stage. When he pitted under the caution, Blaney, who pitted under the competition caution, assumed the race lead and won a caution-free second stage with ease.

With tire falloff not being as steep this weekend, he elected not to pit, as did the first 16 cars.

Jones and Busch took the fight to Blaney on the Lap 100 restart, especially when he got loose exiting Turn 4, allowing the two of them to get to his inside. With a three-wide battle for first coming to the start/finish line, Busch edged out Jones and Blaney to retake the lead.

When Joey Gase’s engine expired in Turn 2, spilling fluid down the backstretch, the leaders pitted, Jones took just two tires and exited with the race lead.

Back to green on lap 137, Blaney caught him with less than 50 laps to go and spent a number of laps applying the pressure, until a solo-spin in Turn 2 by Ray Black Jr. with 34 to go brought out the eighth caution, setting up the run to the finish.

OTHER CAUTIONS

Paul Menard brought out a caution on Lap 104 when he got loose and rear-ended the Turn 2 wall.

NUTS & BOLTS

The race lasted two hours, 30 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed of 119.258 mph. There were seven lead changes among four different drivers and eight cautions for 44 laps.

Elliott Sadler leaves with a 45-point lead over Byron.

N1716_UNOFFRES
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