Officially, Saturday night’s race was not billed as the Bristol Busch Brothers 500. Those two boys are almost always front and center at the venue. Even when they do not want to be.
It took three laps for Kyle Busch to be front and center. He spun, sat in the middle of the track, and watched his car become a pinata. We knew it was the end of the line for the likes of Bubba Wallace and A.J. Allmendinger. It sure did not look good for Rowdy, either. The car looked bad, the rear panel was torn off, but at least he was still running, but two laps down.
Paul Menard was another of those needing a win to be in the Playoffs. That did not happen on Saturday. After his right front went down he went out. That took just 30 laps. Shortly after, a mechanic issue doused all hope for Jamie McMurray.
While there might have been a weather system out there on the horizon bringing darker skies, they did not affect Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, or Clint Bowyer in the opening stage, as they came across the line in that order. Not so for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He came in on the outside and stayed there after tagging the wall. Oh, we were not going to see Keelan take another ride with dad. A storm cloud opened up over Harvick due to a tire issue. That put him a lap down, never to be seen again.
They came and they went, and by the time the second stage wrapped up, it was Joey Logano and Chase Elliott finishing 1-2. It also marked the return of Kyle Busch to the lead lap.
Aric Almirola had a good day going for himself until he was black-flagged for dumping fluid all over the track. Ole Kyle, meanwhile, kept on coming. That is what Martin Truex Jr. discovered when a familiar face touched his left rear quarter-panel to spin him into the inside wall. When Brad Keselowski spun late in the going, we had 24 laps to go and 10 drivers who looked to be in contention.
When they bunched up to take the green flag, Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Chris Buescher were up front on old tires. Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin had two fresh ones. Elliott, Kyle, Logano, and Kyle Larson had new treads. This was going to get wild.
It took about four laps. Rowdy had a tire going down and spun into oblivion. I bet Truex was sure sad to see that from the garage. Buescher also lost a tire. Chad Knaus saw enough and brought Johnson in for four.
Not so for Billy Scott. He left Kurt Busch out there. He left him there on old tires to outrun Larson, Elliott, Logano, Erik Jones, Bowyer, and Blaney to take his first of the season, the sixth on this track (though the first in a dozen years), and the 30th of his career. It marked the first win for Scott up on the box and a crew that last year worked with Danica Patrick. It also marked the first time in NASCAR history to see a pair of brothers each boasting 30 career wins.
Yes, just another Busch Brother day at Bristol.