After 17 attempts, Kyle Busch finally wins at Kansas

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After 17 attempts, Kyle Busch finally wins at Kansas
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
May 8, 2016, 2:52 AM

Kyle Busch finally conquered Kansas Speedway.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota race winner
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota race winner
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota race winner
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Start: Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota leads
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota pit action
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota crash
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota crash

On Saturday, Busch knocked down the competition in the Go Bowling 400 and beat Kevin Harvick to the line by 1.112-seconds.

With his Kansas victory, Busch has won at 21 of the 23 tracks on the Cup circuits. He still has Charlotte Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway to go.

Busch took the lead for the final time on Lap 231. But it was crew chief Adam Stevens' decision to remain on the track and not pit with the leaders on Lap 239 provided the Busch with the track position for the last 28 laps. Still, it wasn’t uncontested. With 10 to go, Harvick reached the bumper of the No. 18. But Busch held off the No. 4 for his third win of the season and his 37th career Sprint Cup victory.

Yes, Kansas ... Way to go boys,” Busch radioed after taking the checkered flag.

“I can’t say enough about everybody on this team,” Busch added. “At the beginning of the race, we weren’t very good. Adam Stevens and the guys just keep working on it. The 78 was probably the fastest car but we just kept ourselves in the game. It’s pretty impressive.”

Harvick started 26th to finish second followed Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and rookie Ryan Blaney.

Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman finished sixth and seventh, respectively, with AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski rounding out the top 10.

Heartbreak for the dominant car

Polesitter Martin Truex Jr. had the dominant car on Sunday night. Truex had led 172 laps when the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing crew experienced a miscue on pit road on Lap 212. Soon after the driver left the pits, he reported a loose wheel on his car. The team decided to return to pit road and Truex dropped to 22nd, one lap off the pace.

“Something (a lugnut) got jammed up in the wheel,” crew chief Cole Pearn informed the driver.

“I can’t believe it, man,” Truex replied over to his crew. “I don't know what the racing gods have against me, but boy that sucks.”

In the eight races where Truex has led 100 laps or more, he’s only won one of the events. On Saturday, Truex recovered to finish 14th.

Harvick maintained the points lead by four over Busch. Edwards remained third in the standings followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch.

Edwards rebounds

Carl Edwards hoped to earn his first win at his home track. However, he hit the wall on Lap 74 then felt the right rear tire going down eight laps later. Although Edwards attempted to bring the No. 19 car down pit road, he came in too hot and missed the entrance. By the time Edwards limped around the track, he had dropped to 33rd.

Following the pit stop, he was down two laps and exited pit road 35th. Edwards returned to the top 10 following the sixth caution but dropped to 11th. Tony Stewart finished 12th for his best finish since his return at Richmond. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Truex and Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the top 15.

Multi-car wreck takes out several contenders

The race was slowed by six cautions — the last and largest coming on Lap 240 in Turn 4 when Denny Hamlin took the air off of Keselowski. Hamlin, who received two speeding penalties earlier in the race, then spun into Kyle Larson.

Joey Logano plowed into the melee and totaled the No. 22 Ford (WATCH CRASH). Hamlin finished 37th, Logano 38th. Although Keselowski continued on — as did Larson when the race restarted on Lap 248. However, Larson cut a brake line and retired on Lap 252.

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Truex dominates, but loses again: "It sucks"

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