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NASCAR Cup: Kurt Busch wins brotherly battle for Kentucky win

SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 13: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway on July 13, 2019 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

The 2019 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta came down to a brother vs. brother battle Saturday night with Kurt Busch getting by younger brother Kyle Busch on the final lap to claim his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win of the season. His win also was the first at Kentucky Speedway for Chevrolet.

“Hell yeah! Hell yeah! Racing your little brother every week,” Kurt Busch said. “I’m proud of him. I’m proud that he gave me a little bit of room on that outside. He could have clobbered us against the wall, and third place is probably what we would have got. But what an awesome run! We got this Monster Chevy in victory lane! Thank you, Kentucky!”

The younger Busch finished second after an overtime restart resulting from a spin by Darrell Wallace Jr. on lap 261 of the race that was scheduled for 267 laps.

“Glad it was a thriller,” Kyole Busch said. “It’s just unfortunate we were on the wrong end of the deal for everybody at M&Ms and Toyota, Interstate Batteries, all the folks that get us to where we’re at. Congratulations to Kurt and Chip and Monster, all the guys over there. It’s, obviously, cool to put on great races and great finishes, and I’ve been a part of a lot of them and not very many, in fact none, with my brother like that. That was a first. No hard feelings.”

The top-five of the finishing order was comprised entirely of Chip Ganassi Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing entries. Kurt Busch was joined in the top-five by his CGR teammate, Kyle Larson, who finished fourth. Joining Kyle Busch in the top-five were his JGR teammates, Erik Jones in third and Denny Hamlin in fifth.

Joey Logano was the race leader on the final restart after a physical battle with Kyle Busch on lap 247. After the final restart, Logano fell to seventh as Kyle Busch took the lead and Kurt Busch moved into second to battle his little brother.

The Busch brothers also were each stage winners, with Kurt Busch running up front when the first stage ended at lap 80 and Kyle Busch winning the second 80-lap stage. By the end of the race that was extended a couple of laps by the overtime, Kyle Busch had been up front the most, leading a race-high 72 laps.

After Daniel Suarez started on the pole and led the first 49 laps of the race, Kurt Busch took his first lead on the first restart that followed a caution for a Chase Elliott flat right-front tire on lap 47. Kurt Busch got off pit road second to Brad Keselowski during the caution after both took fuel only and took the lead from Keselowski when the race returned to green.

Kurt Busch, then, led the remainder of the opening stage.

Kyle Busch made a two-tire stop to get out of the pits first during the caution between the first two stages, but he restarted eighth behind seven drivers who stayed out after pitting during another recent caution.

Kyle Busch took his first lead by passing Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on lap 104. He maintained his lead during a cycle of green-flag stops on lap lap 149 and was still up front when the second stage ended at lap 160.

Kyle Busch as back to fifth in the running order to start the final stage, despite being first off pit road with a fuel-only stop after the end of the second stage. Four drivers, including Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch, stayed out for track position. Kurt Busch retook the lead on lap 205.

In a final cycle of green-flag pit stops after lap 200, Kyle Busch and Logano waited until late in the cycle to pit and took on two tires to be first and second in the running order and battling for the lead with the cycle completed on lap 247. As Suarez pitted to end the cycle, Logano took the lead from Kyle Busch.

Other top-10 finishers included Bowyer in sixth, Suarez in eighth, Ryan Newman ninth and Chris Buescher in 10th.

“It was an eventful night, for sure,” Suarez. “We just had a fast race car, but we got a bit tight. I feel like we made the car better, but we never got the track position back. We had a tire going down, and then, I was speeding coming to pit road, because I was wheel hopping because of the tire. It was one problem after another. We were fast enough to overcome that but not enough to get a better finish. I feel like the good thing is that we have the speed. We just have to keep working to have a cleaner day and keep working to try to keep that speed the whole race.”

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway:

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Posted by on July 14, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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