Kyle Busch Collects Second Xfinity Win Of The Season

Kyle Busch
Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

As Kyle Busch spun his No. 18 Toyota wildly during his celebratory burnout at Kentucky Speedway, the right rear tire exploded with an audible pop after it hit the drain below the apron.

It was an astute call by crew chief Eric Phillips that enabled Busch's tires to survive long enough to win Saturday afternoon's rain-delayed Alsco 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the 1.5-mile track.

In effect, Phillips was the architect of Busch's second victory this season, his fourth at Kentucky and the 88th of his career, extending his own series record. Busch, the pole winner, was leading on Lap 129, when the engine in Joey Gase's No. 52 Chevrolet blew up in Turn 3, dumping fluid on the track to necessitate the seventh caution of the afternoon.

That's when Phillips, thinking several moves ahead, opted for four tires. Busch lost six positions to teams that opted for two-tire stops, but by Lap 148 he had passed Joey Logano, who had two runs on his left-side tires, for the third position.

The four-tire call enabled Busch to stay on the track and inherit the lead when Ray Black Jr.'s crash in Turn 2 brought out the eighth and final caution on Lap 167. Busch remained out front the rest of the way and got some help when Ryan Blaney, whose No. 12 Ford was arguably the fastest car in the race, was penalized for a runaway tire during his final pit stop on Lap 168.

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"] "These guys keep getting better, and we just bide our time a little bit as we did today," Busch said. "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."

Blaney restarted at the back of the field and charged to second place, passing third-place finisher Erik Jones for the runner-up spot on the final lap. But Blaney ran out of time where the win was concerned and crossed the finish line 1.097 seconds behind Busch, who won from the pole for the 35th time.

"We got it really good at the end," Blaney said ruefully. "We were good all day. I thought we were the best car all day, personally. Before that last caution. I thought we were going to get by the 20 (Jones) and set sail. The caution came out and we were debating on whether to pit or not.

"It's easy to look back on it now and say that we should have stayed out and seen what happened. I thought the right call was to pit, and we just had a violation. That stings. It almost stings worse running all the way up there and finishing second than if we would have finished 10th or something."

Kevin Harvick, who stayed on track with Busch for the final restart, held onto fourth place. Ty Dillon ran fifth, followed by Logano and William Byron. Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick completed the top 10.

There was no shortage of action from the outset of Saturday's race. As the cars reached the start/finish line for the initial green flag, the field bunched up, and the cars of Brendan Gaughan, Black Koch, Brandon Jones, Ryan Reed and Michael Annett were damaged in the resulting melee.

Jones fell out immediately, Gaughan was eliminated by a subsequent accident on Lap 7, and Reed dropped out after 55 laps because of overheating. Annett and Koch were able to continue and finished 16th and 23rd, respectively, but those opening moments set the tone for wild restarts that would follow.

Series leader Elliott Sadler ran 12th and maintained a 45-point edge over second-place Byron, who fell short in his attempt to win a third straight race.

RACE RESULTS

Pos. # Driver Make Start Laps Led Status Points Playoff Points
1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 1 200 70 Running 0 0
2 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 3 200 52 Running 0 0
3 20 Erik Jones Toyota 2 200 77 Running 0 0
4 41 Kevin Harvick Ford 11 200 0 Running 0 0
5 3 Ty Dillon Chevy 12 200 0 Running 0 0
6 22 Joey Logano Ford 4 200 1 Running 0 0
7 9 William Byron Chevy 5 200 0 Running 39 11
8 7 Justin Allgaier Chevy 13 200 0 Running 36 7
9 21 Daniel Hemric Chevy 10 200 0 Running 28 1
10 42 Tyler Reddick Chevy 6 200 0 Running 35 0
11 00 Cole Custer Ford 8 200 0 Running 31 0
12 1 Elliott Sadler Chevy 18 200 0 Running 25 4
13 23 Spencer Gallagher Chevy 14 200 0 Running 24 0
14 19 Matt Tifft Toyota 15 200 0 Running 23 0
15 98 Casey Mears Ford 25 200 0 Running 22 0
16 5 Michael Annett Chevy 23 200 0 Running 21 0
17 28 Dakoda Armstrong Toyota 22 200 0 Running 20 0
18 39 Ryan Sieg Chevy 27 200 0 Running 19 0
19 24 Jeb Burton Toyota 29 200 0 Running 18 0
20 4 Ross Chastain Chevy 24 200 0 Running 17 0
21 48 Brennan Poole Chevy 7 199 0 Running 17 0
22 51 Jeremy Clements Chevy 26 199 0 Running 15 0
23 11 Blake Koch Chevy 19 199 0 Running 14 1
24 8 BJ McLeod Chevy 31 198 0 Running 13 0
25 14 JJ Yeley Toyota 30 197 0 Running 12 0
26 0 Garrett Smithley Chevy 32 196 0 Running 11 0
27 07 Ray Black Jr Chevy 34 195 0 Running 10 0
28 01 Harrison Rhodes Chevy 33 195 0 Running 9 0
29 40 Chad Finchum Chevy 38 194 0 Running 8 0
30 78 Angela Ruch Chevy 40 192 0 Running 7 0
31 99 David Starr Chevy 36 188 0 Running 6 0
32 96 Ben Kennedy Chevy 16 178 0 Electrical 5 0
33 52 Joey Gase Chevy 35 125 0 Transmission 4 0
34 2 Paul Menard Chevy 9 102 0 Accident 0 0
35 74 Mike Harmon Dodge 39 58 0 Engine 2 0
36 16 Ryan Reed Ford 21 55 0 Overheating 1 5
37 93 Jeff Green Chevy 28 53 0 Ignition 1 0
38 13 Timmy Hill Toyota 37 31 0 Suspension 1 0
39 62 Brendan Gaughan Chevy 17 6 0 Accident 1 1
40 33 Brandon Jones Chevy 20 0 0 Accident 1 0

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