By AMANDA VINCENT
Kyle Busch dominated the Tennessee Lottery 250, the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway since 2011, on Saturday, leading 122 laps of the race that was scheduled for 188 laps but extended to 189 by an overtime restart on his way to a milestone 100th Xfinity Series win.
“I don’t think you ever think of those things,” Busch said. “I think one day you just hope that you can make it, and then when you make it, you are like, ‘Okay, let’s go win some more races, and lets go win a championship.’ Being around for as long as I’ve been around, it’s a great opportunity in this position, and to get this many wins is really, really cool. There’s a lot of great people over the years that have gotten me to this point, whether it be Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing, most of it has, obviously, come with JGR for as long as I’ve been there. That just makes it all worth while, and I wouldn’t say it has all came full circle. It would be nice to keep going, but everybody’s tired of me being here, so we hit the century mark, and we will see if we can get 102. I don’t know what the plan is for next year yet.”
Although Busch started on the pole, fellow front-row starter Austin Cindric led the first 53 laps, including a stage-one win on lap 45. Busch took his first lead on lap 54 and won stage two at lap 90.
Cindric was involved in a wreck on a lap-160 restart, one of five cautions in the final 50 laps of the race.
Justin Allgaier finished second after leading 11 laps and challenging Busch for the win late in the race. Allgaier took the lead from Busch on lap 151, but Busch retook the position by the caution for Cindric’s wreck that also included Daniel Hemric and Michael Annett.
“I knew if we could get out front and go that our car was faster and we could get away,” Busch said. “It was just a matter of beating Allgaier. Allgaier was really good and doing a great job on those restarts down low and getting his car to carve the corner and accelerate and getting alongside of me and, then, using the side draft to his advantage to get by. I slipped off the bottom one time, and he got by. Definitely made me work for it. He is in the final four each year, so one of the best guys out here to be battling with.”
Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton finished third to give JGR a second car inside the top-three of the finishing order. Josh Berry and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top-five.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Brandon Jones, Jeb Burton, Noah Gragson, Austin Hill and Riley Herbst.