Kyle Busch dominates Xfinity race at Kentucky
By AMANDA VINCENT
Kyle Busch put on another dominating performance in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition Friday night, this time around leading 185 laps en route to a win in the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. It was his fifth Xfinity win of the season and the 10th for Joe Gibbs Racing in the 16 races, so far, this year.
“This is a great effort by this team and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Busch said. “Everything was really, really good about this race car since we unloaded. NOS Energy Drink Camry had really good speed, and Chris Gayle (crew chief) and the guys did an awesome job. Each and every week, this 18 Camry is always the best, always the one to beat. I think that’s just a true testament to everyone at Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and this Xfinity Series program.”
Austin Dillon finished second, ahead of a couple more JGR drivers. Daniel Suarez finished third and Erik Jones fourth to give Joe Gibbs Racing three finishes inside the top-five. Darrell Wallace Jr. finished fifth.
Busch led all but 16 laps in the race that was scheduled for a 200-lap distance but went one lap over as a result of a caution for Mike Harmon on lap 195. Other lap leaders included Jeff Green, Ray Black Jr., Ross Chastain, Ty Dillon and Jones.
Green, Black and Chastain each led a lap, all in the first half of the race, by staying out an extra lap during one of two cautions that came out in the early laps of the event. Dillon led a total of 10 laps in the second half of the race by staying out longer during each of two cycles of green-flag pit stops.
Jones, the only other driver credited with leading laps, was credited with three laps led in the late going. He was able to get by Busch just before a yellow flag on lap 175. But during the caution, Jones accidentally hit his ignition switch, caution him to fall of the pace and drop back to third behind Busch and Austin Dillon for the restart.
Dillon was able to get by Busch to take the lead on the final restart of the race after Harmon’s car went up in smoke, but his lead was so short-lived, he failed to lead a lap before Busch got by for the lead and the win. Busch was able to retake the top spot just before the white flag.
“I feel like we had a very competitive No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet tonight,” Dillon said. We took right-side tires, then left-side tires, then right-side tires, and we learned that we were very good on left-side tires, so good that we were posting the fastest laps of the race. I tried hard on that last restart. I just wish turns three and four would have went differently for us at the end. I never lifted. I just came off the gas a little bit in turns three and four, and that’s what made all the difference. I’m proud of everyone on this team, and we will get a few more wins before the end of this season.”
Finishing sixth through 10th were Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole and Brad Keselowski.
The yellow flag waved five times throughout the race for a total of 22 laps ran under yellow-flag conditions.