Kyle Busch overcomes Kansas 'curse' to win Nationwide race
Kyle Busch has taken his 69th career Nationwide victory.
Kyle Busch got past the No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick with about 20 laps remaining in the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway and pulled his No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into victory labe.
Did all we could do and just came up a little bit short
"We raced a guy that's probably going to win tomorrow," Busch said of Harvick, looking ahead to Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Harvick found himself all alone on the lead lap when the yellow flag waved for the eighth of nine times on lap 143 of the 200-lap race. Everyone but Harvick had cycled through green-flag stops when the caution came out. After Harvick hit pit road under yellow, the rest of the field took the wave-around, with the No. 22 Team Penske Ford of Ryan Blaney restarting second.
Busch got up to second on the restart and the yellow flag was quickly displayed once again. Harvick was able to hold off Busch for a while before losing the lead and then having to fend off Blaney for the second spot. Blaney finished third.
"Kyle was just a little bit faster there as we got toward the end," Harvick said. "Did all we could do and just came up a little bit short, there."
Blaney finished third
Blaney battled Harvick for second for a few laps until Harvick was able to pull away and settle into the second spot in the closing laps.
"I was just a little bitt too free, there, that last bit," Blaney said. "We just didn't adjust enough, and that was my fault. I didn't want to adjust on it."
Harvick, Blaney, the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Chris Buescher and the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of pole sitter Ty Dillon were mainstays up front early in the race. Buescher was caught up in an on-track incident with the No. 42 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet of Kyle Larson; a major accident that ended both their days.
"I was really surprised I got loose there," Larson said. "I had been extremely tight all day yesterday and all the race."
The No. 62 RCR Chevy of Brendan Gaughan also got up front to lead laps by staying out when the yellow flag waved for debris on lap 45.
Gaughan's time up front was short-lived, though, as Blaney took the lead when the race restart. Scott also led laps by pit strategy, taking two tires during a caution that came out on lap 73. But when the race restarted from that caution, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth took the lead after a three-wide battle with the No. 11 JGR Toyota of Elliott Sadler and Scott.
Sadler also led laps before Busch took the race lead for the first time with about 75 laps to go, just before the only green-flag cycle of stops in the race.
The No. 33 Richard Childressn Racing Chevrolet of Paul Menard and Dillon finished fourth and fifth.
"We made some good adjustments and got a little better. Just wasn't quite enough," Menard said.
Kenseth finished sixth, Sadler was seventh, the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Trevor Bayne eighth, Scott ninth, and the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Chase Elliott rounded out the top-10.
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