Kyle Busch completed the NASCAR sweep at Kansas Speedway on Sunday afternoon by driving away from the Cup Series field in a two-lap dash to the finish.
Busch was the race leader on the last restart of the Buschy McBusch Race 400 and cleared the field by the exit of Turn 2. It was frantic in Busch’s rearview mirror.
Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney nearly found trouble in the outside lane as Larson tried to shove Blaney forward. As they faded, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott surged forward, but it didn’t last long. Keselowski slid wide in Turn 1 and 2, impeding the path of Truex and Elliott and opening the door for Harvick to grab second place.
Busch led Harvick across the finish line for his first Cup win of the season. Keselowski was scored third, Matt DiBenedetto fourth and Elliott fifth.
Nothing but wide open pasture for @KyleBusch as he took the 🏁 at @kansasspeedway! #BuschyMcBusch400pic.twitter.com/PYi8ltPLLt
"It’s cool to get everybody back to victory lane again this early in the season," Busch said. "To be able to get some of those points going our way now and hopefully – heck, I just remembered, the Buschy McBusch race. The Busch won it, what do you know, right on.”
Busch is the 10th different winner in 11 Cup races. The victory, the 58th of Busch’s career, is the first in the series for crew chief Ben Beshore. It is the second victory for Busch at Kansas.
Classic. 🏁@KyleBusch | @kansasspeedwaypic.twitter.com/lfgu6m41wK
Truex finished sixth, Tyler Reddick finished seventh, Chris Buescher finished eighth, William Byron finished ninth, and Austin Dillon completed the top 10.
Larson fell to 19th in the finishing order after his run-in with Blaney. Blaney finished 21st.
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Busch won the first stage. Larson won the second stage and led a race-high 132 laps.
Busch took the lead for the final time off a shove by Blaney on a lap 257 restart. Christopher Bell spinning in Turn 3 on the same lap, collecting both JTG Daugherty Racing cars, brought the caution out that set up the run to the finish.
Kyle Busch celebrates in victory lane after winning the Buschy McBusch Race 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Photo: Sean Gardner, Getty Images)
Busch joins NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough as the second driver to win multiple races on his birthday. Sunday was Busch’s 36th birthday. Less than two days earlier, Busch won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas.
“What’s really cool is that we started the race good and we worked our way forward from the start of the race,” Busch said. “We made minor adjustments all day to the car and nothing really did anything. We kept getting tighter as the day went on, even though we were trying to free up. We did a long sim session this week, that was helpful.
“I feel like we’re really close for Kansas at least and what we can do and what we can learn on that. I look forward to hopefully being able to celebrate with my team and hopefully have a good night tonight. It’s cool to be able to work the way we did today.”
It’s the annual Throwback Weekend at Darlington, when teams roll out old-school paint schemes for the Cup Series race on Sunday. Among those revealed: Larson in his first go-kart’s colors, Elliott in the Hooter’s colors of Alan Kulwicki, Joey Logano honoring Mario Andretti’s first F1 win in 1971 and William Byron paying homage to Neil Bonnett.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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