He's back: Kyle Busch returns to the NXS and to Victory Lane

The king of the minors is victorious at Michigan International Speedway.

Take a bow, Kyle Busch.

After a wreck in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway, sidelined Busch with a broken right leg and left foot for four months, Rowdy raced the No. 54 Toyota into Victory Lane in his first race back on the tour. 

Busch, who started 12th at Michigan International Speedway, passed Chase Elliott on the outside on Lap 121 and held on for the final four laps to score his 71st NXS in his 298th start. 

“It’s an emotional day and any win is,” Busch said. “You never know when it’s your last, obviously that’s for sure after Daytona and what happened. It is certainly really good to be back in victory lane here today.

"Obviously, I can’t say enough about my wife and my family and my friends, everybody that pushed me so hard to get me back to here and get me back in the race cars and doing what I love to do. Thankful that Brexton is here today, he’s hanging out with us and sleeping right through it. He’ll see the pictures of it when he’s a little older, but I’m not so sure he’ll remember today.”

It was Busch’s second victory at MIS and his seven top 10 in eight starts at the two-mile track. Elliott finished second followed by Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher and Elliott Sadler. 

“He’s really good at what he does, and I have no excuse for it,” Elliott said of his second-place finish. “He just outran me.”

Renewed rivalry

Seventh-place Joey Logano led the most laps (54) but as he and Kevin Harvick (sixth) were battling for the lead on Lap 117, both cars became loose and nearly ended up in the wall. 

Harvick apologized to the No. 88 JR Motorsports crew following the race, “Good job boys, we just got loose there under the 22.” 

Logano was less than pleased with Harvick after the race.

 I was racing hard and he just drove over his head a little bit.

Joey Logano

“We were racing for a win here and it just seems like he drove in there pretty hard trying to slide me,” Logano said. “I drove up in there too and he got loose underneath me and got into my left rear and up we both went into the race track.

"It is unfortunate. I had a fast Discount Tire Ford, obviously the winning car, leading a ton of laps and up there at the end of the race. I was racing hard and he just drove over his head a little bit.”

The race was slowed by eight cautions -- including a lengthy stoppage on Lap 113 following a pile up between Cale Conley, Ryan Reed, Paul Menard and Jeremy Clements which triggered a 5:44-minute red-flag. Eighteen cars finished on the lead lap.

Points leader

Buescher retained the NXS points lead by 25 markers over Ty Dillon, who finished 13th. Buescher led 23 laps but was snookered on Lap 105 restart. The Roush Fenway Racing driver was still “frustrated” following the race.

“I am mad at myself more than anything for not being able to get going on these restarts better,” Buescher said. “That is where we lost the race really. This Roush Performance Mustang was really fast. I told the guys with about 25 to go that this was fun. 

“This is how we need to show up to the races each week. It was awesome and they did a heck of a job and it is a great points day but I really wish we had a chance to run for the win there.” 

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Event Michigan
Track Michigan International Speedway
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch , Kyle Larson , Chris Buescher , Chase Elliott
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing , JR Motorsports , Roush Fenway Racing
Article type Race report