HAMPTON, Ga. — A Cup driver dominated and won the first stage, a Cup driver dominated and won the second stage and a Cup driver dominated and won the XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway dominated by Cup drivers.
Right off the bat, Kyle Busch led the first eight laps before Brad Keselowski passed under him on the backstretch to take the lead on the ninth lap. Keselowski maintained a one to two second advantage over Busch the remaining 31 laps to win the first stage.
He led most of the second stage, but lost the lead to Kevin Harvick on lap 62 and Harvick won the stage.
Harvick led most of the final stage that was interrupted by a caution halfway through, but Kyle Larson took command of the race. He lost the lead on pit road to Busch pitting under caution. Keselowski tried to challenge Busch in the closing laps by taking advantage of lapped traffic, but it proved too little too late and Busch took the checkered flag.
It’s Busch’s 89th career victory in 329 XFINITY Series starts.
Larson came home third, Harvick finished fourth and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five.
Darrell Wallace Jr., William Byron, Austin Dillon
The only wreck in the race involved Ty Dillon and Blake Koch on the second lap. Entering Turn 1, Dillon cut his left-rear tire and spun out. Koch dove onto the apron to avoid him, but wound up t-boned him.
Denny Hamlin spun out on the frontstretch after suffering a flat left-rear tire, which was caused by running over a lug nut after making an unscheduled stop for a flat right-front tire.
Justin Allgaier and Brennan Poole made unscheduled stops during the first stage for flat tires.
The race lasted one hour, 57 minutes and 16 seconds at an average speed of 128.435 mph. There were six lead changes among four different drivers and five cautions for 26 laps.
Elliott Sadler leaves Atlanta with a three-point lead.N1702_UNOFFRES