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NASCAR Cup: Kurt Busch puts on dominant performance at Kansas

By AMANDA VINCENT


Kurt Busch claimed his first win of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season Sunday in the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway. Busch’s latest win also was the second, ever, for 23XI Racing in its second year of operation.


“It’s family. When we started this car number, I knew we had our work cut out for us,” Busch said. “We just had to do simple things to work our way up. Heck, one of the simple things was just making final round in qualifying. We’ve been starting to do that. That leads you into other categories that help you think and get you into more detail about other things. I just thought all a long, if we got up front, it would be a whole new game of blocking the air, taking lanes away. Today, this Toyota Camry TRD was fast right off the truck. Stage one, I was killer tight. I thought our day was going to be a long day, and I’m just so happy that the car reacted to the changes. Jordan Brand on the hood; that is our DNA at 23XI. Denny Hamlin (car co-owner), thank you. Monster Energy, everybody that is our partners. This is a big win for our team.”

Busch led a race-high 116 laps of the 267-lap race and took his final lead from Kyle Larson on lap 259 when Larson gets into the wall. Larson took runner-up honors as the only non-Toyota driver in the top-five at the checkered flag.

“I mean, we were racing for the win, there,” Larson said. “He never got into me, so I’m trying to squeeze throttle to get position on him and just got tight. That was fun racing with Kurt. You know, the last half of the race, I was trying hard the whole time. I about spun out in front of him, there, at some point in the third stage, and then, we just kept fighting through it.

“Thanks to my team for building me a war machine. I hit the wall a lot today and just struggled, like people could put air on me and get me really tight and I hit the wall. We’ll work on that and figure it out, but happy with my car. It was hard to hold off Kyle (Busch), and then, I knew when Kurt got by, I knew it was going to be really hard to hold him off. I did my best but came up one spot short.”


Joe Gibbs Racing trio Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell rounded out the top-five. Another JGR Toyota driver, Martin Truex Jr., finished sixth.


Kurt Busch lost the lead to Larson on lap 182 but took it back later the same lap when Larson nearly wrecked. Larson took the lead, again, on a lap-202 restart that followed a caution for Chase Elliott, but two laps later, Kurt Busch retook the top spot.


After the yellow flag waved for the eighth and final time on lap 229 for Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch lost multiple positions in the pits as Kyle Busch and Larson got off pit road first and second. Larson took the lead on the final restart on lap 235.


Kyle Busch won the opening stage at lap 80, taking the lead on a lap-68 restart after pitting for four tires on the previous caution for Daniel Suarez while three drivers stayed out.

Bell was the leader prior to the caution, the third yellow flag of the race, but experienced a flat left-rear tire before pit road opened during the caution.


Bell started on the pole and led before fellow-front-row starter Tyler Reddick took the top spot on a lap-10 restart from the first caution of the race for Chase Briscoe. Larson took the lead just before the yellow flag waved for the second time for B.J. McLeod on lap 34. Bell, then, retook the lead by getting off pit road first.


The Busch brothers were first and second in the running order at the end of the second with Kurt Busch taking the stage-two win at lap 165.


After winning the opening stage, Kyle Busch lost several positions on pit road while Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain were the first two out of the pits. Chastain restarted with the lead as Elliott was penalized for equipment interference.


William Byron took the lead on the lap-88 restart, but like Bell before him, Byron suffered a flat-rear tire while leading on lap 113.


Another previous leader, Reddick, hit the wall a few laps later on lap 116, but the race stayed under green.


Kurt Busch inherited the lead after Byron’s tire problem. Busch, then, pitted during a green cycle before a caution for Harvick that interrupted the cycle of stops on lap 125. After pit stops were complete, Kurt Busch was back up front, and Kyle Busch moved up to second soon after the restart.
Kurt Busch was first off pit road after the second stage to retain his lead while Kyle Busch was penalized for speeding.


Other top-10 finishers included Chastain in seventh, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in eighth, Alex Bowman ninth and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. in 10th.


Below, are the results of the AdventHealth 400:

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Posted by on May 16, 2022. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.