NASCAR Xfinity: Kyle Busch wins at Atlanta
Kyle Busch takes the checkered flag in the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 4, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
Kyle Busch claimed his second-straight NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday with his victory of the Rinnai 250.
“Pretty proud to put ourselves in victory lane here once again, two years in a row,” Busch said. “It took me so long to get here to begin with, and now, we won two in a row. That feels really good.”
Brad Keselowski finished second.
“It was a good race today for the Discount Tire Ford team,” Keselowski said. “To get second is kissing your sister, but it is still better than nothing, I guess. We had a really good car today and some good adjustments at the end to pick up a little speed.”
Kyle Larson was third after fending off Kevin Harvick on the final lap. Harvick finished fourth. Elliott Sadler was the highest-finishing Xfinity Series championship-eligible driver, rounding out the top-five.
Busch started the race on the pole, but lost the lead to Keselowski on lap eight. He got back to the lead by getting off pit road first during the fifth and final caution of the race that came out with about 20 laps remaining in the 163-lap race. He was able to maintain the lead for the remaining distance.
“We weren’t great early on,” Busch said. “We weren’t great through the middle and Scott Graves (crew chief) and these guys, they worked on this car all day long. Really brought the NOS Energy Drink Toyota to life there at the end.”
The race was domianted by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, as Busch, Keselowski, Larson and Harvick combined to lead the entire event. Harvick led the most laps, running up front for 64 circuits. Keselowski won the first stage, and Harvick won the second. As a result, no playoff points were awarded to Xfinity Series regulars.
After Keselowski took the lead from Busch, he ran up front until Harvick got by him for the top spot on lap 62. Larson took his turn up front when he passed Harvick soon after a restart following a lap 118 caution. Larson ran up front until Busch moved back into the lead for the final time.
Darrell Wallace Jr. finished sixth, William Byron was seventh, Austin Dillon eighth, Daniel Hemric was ninth, and Cole Custer finished 10th.