Kyle Busch didn't put on the dominating performance on Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway that he did in May when he led 186 of 200 laps to claim his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the track. Still, he won in Nationwide competition again at Charlotte on Friday night, driving his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to victory lane to celebrate his eighth series win at the track.
Nationwide Series championship contenders Austin Dillon in the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and Sam Hornish Jr. in the No. 12 Penske Racing Ford finished second and third and raced to a virtual draw as far as the championship standings go. Both led laps, but Hornish led the most laps in the race for an extra bonus point to match the extra point Dillon earned for finishing one position ahead.
"That was the most fun race I've been in all year," Dillon said.
After Busch started from the pole and led the first six laps of the race, Hornish took the lead on lap seven and dominated the first half of the 200 lap event while Busch battled handling issues.
The No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Regan Smith, the No. 99 RAB Racing Toyota of Alex Bowman and the No. 30 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Nelson Piquet Jr. stayed out during a caution for track position just past the halfway point of the race. While, Bowman and Piquet fell back on the restart, Smith was able to remain up front until having to head down pit road for a green-flag pit stop with about 60 laps to go.
With Smith pitting, the No. 32 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Kyle Larson inherited the lead. He had gained some of his track position by taking two tires under the previous caution. Larson led the way until his team had an issue on a pit stop during the fifth and final caution of the race that came out with just over 40 laps remaining.
Busch got off pit road first and Dillon second to restart the race on the front row. As soon as the race returned to green, Hornish moved up to second and then with 20 laps remaining, got by Busch for the lead.
"We had a lot of work to get the car tightened up," Hornish said of his absence from the front of the field for much of the second half of the race.
Busch was able to retake the lead with eight laps to go. Three laps later, Dillon got by Hornish for second.
"I lost the lead and didn't thing I would win the thing," Busch said.
The No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick finished fourth and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth was fifth. Finishing sixth through 10th were the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Justin Allgaier, the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford of Joey Logano, the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Trevor Bayne, and the No. 77 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota of Parker Kligerman and the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford of Michael Annett.