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NASCAR Cup: Kyle Busch takes last-lap lead to win Busch Clash


Kyle Busch was running third when Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney made contact while racing for the lead on the final lap of the 35-lap Busch Clash on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course Tuesday night. Busch, then, took the lead to claim his second-career win of the yearly NASCAR Cup Series exhibition race that moved to the Daytona road course for its 2021 installment.

“I knew to keep my head down and keep focus ahead and see if I could keep hitting my marks to get close enough to have a shot like that – if something like that were to materialize. Fortunately it did for us. I can’t say enough about Ben Beshore (crew chief) and this whole M&Ms team – this new M&M’s team. I appreciate what they do for me, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, TRD. It’s awesome to start off the year with a win a non-points win, but I would love nothing more than to be right here this Sunday.”

Elliott, winner of the last four Cup Series points-paying races on road courses, including the first Cup Series race on the Daytona road course in 2020, held on to finish second after his incident with Blaney. Blaney wound up 13th

“Yeah, and neither one of us won;e that’s the big one,” Elliott said. “I was close enough to drive it in there, and I feel like I’d be mad at myself for not at least trying. Obviously, I don’t mean to wreck anybody, especially him. Some guys I wouldn’t mind. But he’s not one of them. Hopefully, he’s not too mad at me. I feel like you’ve got to go for it, here, in an event like this in any situation. I can’t be sorry about going for the win, but I certainly didn’t mean to wreck him. I drove in there, and just that corner gets so tight, and I didn’t want to just completely jump the curb to the right. But I feel like I tried to get over, there, as far as I could. And at that point, we were coming together at the same time. I hate it. We had a fast Llumar Chevrolet in a position to have a shot at it. We’ll try again on Sunday.”

Joey Logano finished second, and Tyler Reddick and William Byron rounded out the top-five.

Elliott, who started in the back because of an unapproved pre-race adjustment to his car, had inherited the lead when he stayed out, out of tires, during the final caution of the race that came out for Martin Truex Jr. on lap 28. When the race restarted, Blaney, on new tires quickly moved into second and closed on Elliott, taking the lead from Elliott on lap 34.

Prior to Elliott’s lead, Denny Hamlin dominated, taking the lead from pole sitter Blaney on the first lap and running up front for a race-high 21 laps. The only other drivers to lead multiple laps were Elliott and Blaney, who led four apiece, and Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Truex, who led two laps before his late-race incident that forced his retirement from the race.

Hamlin finished sixth after giving up the lead to pit during the final caution.

Truex took the lead from Hamlin on lap 14, just before a competition caution. But Truex restarted the race in the back after missing the chicane including turns 13 and 14 during the caution. Hamlin retook the lead on the restart.

Truex got back up to second on a restart that followed a lap-22 caution for Cole Custer. He retook the lead from Hamlin on lap 28, but before he was credited with leading another lap, he spun into a wall to bring out the final caution. Truex wound up 21st (last) as the only driver to not finish the race.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the 2021 Busch Clash:

  1. Kyle Busch

2. Chase Elliott

3. Joey Logano

4. Tyler Reddick

5. William Byron

6. Denny Hamlin

7. Alex Bowman

8. Erik Jones

9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

10. Matt DiBenedetto

11. Austin Dillon

12. Aric Almriola

13. Ryan Blaney

14. Ryan Newman

15. Kevin Harvick

16. Chris Buescher

17. Brad Keselowski

18. Ty Dillon

19. Kurt Busch

20. Cole Custer

21. Martin Truex Jr.

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Posted by on February 10, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,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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