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Kyle Busch holds off Ryan Blaney for Xfinity win at Kentucky

Time was on Kyle Busch’s side on Saturday.

Kyle Busch holds off Ryan Blaney for Xfinity win at Kentucky
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota takes the checkered flag
Race winner Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske Ford
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske Ford
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske Ford

Busch won Saturday’s rain-delayed Alsco 300 after starting on the pole but he had to hold off a rocket in Ryan Blaney, who rallied back from a pit road penalty to finish second.

The win at Kentucky Speedway was Busch’s second in NASCAR Xfinity Series in five starts this season, the 88th of his career and third at the track.

Busch will attempt to double-up his performance, as he starts Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kentucky from the pole as well.

Busch’s victory burnout left rubber literally burning on the track once he was finished.

“It’s certainly nice to get to Victory Lane anytime you can,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “It’s been a heck of a year on the bad front for us, but certainly nice to have this as a little bit of a turnaround.

“It’s fun to have the opportunity to run in this series. I enjoy it. I like running as much as I can, it just gets me a little bit better for the night time.”

Erik Jones finished third, Kevin Harvick was fourth and Ty Dillon completed the top-five. William Byron (seventh) was the highest finishing Xfinity Series regular.

Ray Black Jr.’s spin in Turn 2 brought out a caution on Lap 167 of 200 and Busch and Harvick remained on the track while the rest of the lead-lap cars – including Blaney – elected to pit.

Blaney’s team, however, was penalized for a tire violation and on the restart on Lap 173 he started 23rd. He took the runner-up position on the final lap.

“We had to work hard to get back up there at the end,” Blaney said. “I thought we had the best car by the end (of the race). We really debated on whether to pit on that caution.

“I wish it was 202 laps – that would have been nice. It’s something to build off because we know we did have the fastest car.”

Stage 2

Blaney led every green-flag lap in the second 45-lap segment on his way to the Stage 2 victory.

Busch remained behind Blaney much of the time but Jones – who won Stage 1 – moved into second with about 15 laps remaining in the Stage but could never get in position for a pass for the lead.

Blaney also completed the entire Stage on tires he had put in during Stage 1, which showed new tires did not necessarily make a tremendous difference.

Busch finished third, Harvick was fourth and Paul Menard completed the top-five.

Ryan Reed, who was among those who were caught up in the Lap 1 wreck, retired from the race due to overheating issues.

“We just got KO’d on Lap 1 there. They brought us down really slow and took off and stopped again,” Reed said of the initial start of the race. “I saw those guys check up and I laid off (Blake Koch) and whoever was behind me came with a full head of steam and picked my rear tires up and shoved us into (Koch).”

Stage 1

Jones dominated much of the first 45-lap segment and had little trouble holding off Busch to take the Stage victory. He led 40 laps while Busch led the other five.

“It’s been good for us so far, we’ve been up front most of the time,” Jones said during the Stage break. “I don’t know what (new) tires are going to be worth, but they seem to fall off with the heat.”

Joey Logano finished third, Menard was fourth and Tyler Reddick completed the top-five.

Not every car had yet taken the green flag to start the race before the first wreck began. Several cars in the mid-pack slowed up, which triggered a chain reaction that went through the field.

Four drivers ended up involved in the incident – Brendan Gaughan, Brandon Jones, Koch and Reed. Gaughan, Jones and Reed all received significant damage in the accident.

“Just a prime example of why you don’t start in the back,” Jones said after the accident. “If anyone says qualifying doesn’t matter, it does matter.”

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 200   70
2 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 200 1.097 52
3 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 200 1.269 77
4 41 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 200 6.343  
5 3 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 200 8.706  
6 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 200 9.730 1
7 9 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 200 10.374  
8 7 united_states Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 200 10.463  
9 21 united_states Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 200 11.601  
10 42 united_states Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 200 11.706  
11 00 united_states Cole Custer  Ford 200 13.537  
12 1 united_states Elliott Sadler  Chevrolet 200 13.700  
13 23 united_states Spencer Gallagher  Chevrolet 200 16.847  
14 19 united_states Matt Tifft  Toyota 200 18.331  
15 98 united_states Casey Mears  Ford 200 18.789  
16 5 united_states Michael Annett  Chevrolet 200 23.160  
17 28 united_states Dakoda Armstrong  Toyota 200 25.583  
18 39 united_states Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 200 26.560  
19 24 united_states Jeb Burton  Toyota 200 27.453  
20 4 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 200 29.152  
21 48 united_states Brennan Poole  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
22 51 united_states Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
23 11 united_states Blake Koch  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
24 8 united_states B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 198 2 laps  
25 14 united_states J.J. Yeley  Toyota 197 3 laps  
26 0 united_states Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
27 07 united_states Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
28 01 united_states Harrison Rhodes  Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
29 40 united_states Chad Finchum  Chevrolet 194 6 laps  
30 78 united_states Angela Ruch  Chevrolet 192 8 laps  
31 99 united_states David Starr  Chevrolet 188 12 laps  
32 96 united_states Ben Kennedy  Chevrolet 178 22 laps  
33 52 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 125 75 laps  
34 2 united_states Paul Menard  Chevrolet 102 98 laps  
35 74 united_states Mike Harmon  Dodge 58 142 laps  
36 16 united_states Ryan Reed  Ford 55 145 laps  
37 93 united_states Jeff Green  Chevrolet 53 147 laps  
38 13 united_states Timmy Hill  Toyota 31 169 laps  
39 62 united_states Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 6 194 laps  
40 33 united_states Brandon Jones  Chevrolet 0 200 laps

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR XFINITY
Event Kentucky
Location Kentucky Speedway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Jim Utter