Kyle Busch Hits Jackpot In Kansas Lottery 300

Kyle Busch Hits Jackpot In Kansas Lottery 300

by October 4, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – For the first time since 2007, Kyle Busch visited Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series after he won the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday.

The victory is Busch’s sixth win and 21st top-10 of the season. He has 69 NASCAR Nationwide Series victories in 292 starts. Busch won earlier this year at Phoenix International Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and both events at Dover International Speedway. The win marks the eighth time a Toyota Camry has won during the 2014 season.

“Great effort by Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and all the guys on this 54 car — it was really awesome again today and should have been won at Chicago just like we did here today,” Busch said. “Missed out there, but we just keep doing things right and you end up in victory lane so you have to have it all match up for you.”

However, the win on Saturday didn’t come easy for Busch. The last restart of the race came on lap 161 after the caution came out Jamie Dick who went for a spin and into the wall in turn two. On lap 180, Kyle Busch hit the apron in the tri-oval and made the race winning pass on race leader, Kevin Harvick.

“He (Kevin Harvick) got a big gap on all of us and I was worried if I was going to get back to him, but as the run was going it seemed that he was getting looser and our car was starting to free up a little bit,” Busch said. “I definitely started tight on that last run. I made some speed and was trying to find a good line to get in and the top seemed to be the line that was helping me and when I got closer to him it seemed like he started going to the top and just kind of blocking my lane that I had going and working for me. I had to start working on something else and there it seemed I definitely still like the top of three and four and it was working for me.

“I got a good run into three and was able to cut across his wake. He kind of slid up the race track and I just kind of went down the left of the race track and kept my momentum going. Rarely do you get cars good enough to do that so hopefully there’s something like that tomorrow that I can have and race that way so you can pass guys and get yourself a good finish.”

Runner-up finisher, Kevin Harvick started fourth and led on two occasions for 47 laps, the most of any driver on Saturday. Harvick’s car was fast on a short run, but Kyle Busch’s was better on the long run, and in the end, that was the difference. The second place finish is Harvick’s 14th top-10 of the season. He has seven top-10 finishes in only 10 starts at Kansas Speedway.

“It has been a struggle all weekend just through practice, and as we got into the race, we just struggled,” Harvick said. “We started the race and qualified better than I think we had anticipated and just needed some more time to work on the car and get everything sorted out, but they gave us a good opportunity with strategy there and just couldn’t hold – the 54 was quite a bit better as we got going into the run. We could hold him off for a short run, but in the end, his car would maintain speed and ours would slowdown. We just got beat there today, but that happens.”

The JR Motorsports drivers who sit first and second in the point standings had a weekend they probably wished they could start over. Chase Elliott expanded his points lead to 38 over Regan Smith. Elliott finished 10th but was none too pleased with the efforts after the race.

“We really struggled, and there’s no excuse for that,” Elliott said. “We just had a bad day today. Regardless of what the points situation looks like, this is not the performance we were hoping for today. I’m bummed about it. We may have gained, but I’m certainly bummed, so we have some work to do coming back here for next year, and hopefully we can rebound next week at Charlotte and have a better run there.”

Regan Smith’s weekend started off as being only 16th quickest in the one and only practice session on Friday, and on Saturday, he crashed during Round 2 of qualifying. During the race, the team struggled. After having a few close calls and overcoming a broken sway bar, Smith was able to bring the No.7 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet Camaro home in the 22nd position.

“Any time you do that (crash in qualifying) and have to roll a backup car two hours before the race, you really have to expect anything,” Smith said. “My guys did a great job just getting the car ready and getting it to where we could get to the grid with it, much less being competitive there for the first stages of the race. We fought with it. It was kind of what we anticipated for the day, and it’s disappointing. I’m obviously disappointed, but it’s a long year.”

Up next, the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads home to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the BCBS Drive for the Cure 300 on Friday, October 10. Coverage begins on ESPN 2 and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Kansas Lottery 300 Results:
1.) #54 Kyle Busch
2.) #5 Kevin Harvick
3.) #22 Ryan Blaney
4.) #33 Paul Menard
5.) #3 Ty Dillon
6.) #20 Matt Kenseth
7.) #11 Elliott Sadler
8.) #6 Trevor Bayne
9.) #2 Brian Scott
10.) #9 Chase Elliott
11.) #6 Trevor Bayne
12.) #16 Ryan Reed
13.) #62 Brendan Gaughan
14.) #19 Mike Bliss
15.) #44 David Starr
16.) #40 Matt DiBenedetto
17.) #51 Jeremy Clements
18.) #28 JJ Yeley
19.) #14 Eric McClure
20.) #39 Ryan Sieg
21.) #99 James Buescher
22.) #7 Regan Smith
23.) #70 Derrike Cope
24.) #87 Jennifer Jo Cobb
25.) #43 Dakoda Armstrong
26.) #98 Corey LaJoie
27.) #55 Jamie Dick
28.) #60 Chris Buescher
29.) #4 Jeffery Earnhardt
30.) #42 Kyle Larson
31.) #25 John Wes Townley
32.) #52 Joey Gase
33.) #90 Martin Roy
34.) #01 Landon Cassill
35.) #72 Carl Long
36.) #10 Blake Koch
37.) #93 Kevin Swindell
38.) #74 Mike Harmon
39.) #23 Timmy Hill
40.) #29 Milka Duno

NASCAR Nationwide Series Top-10 Driver Point Standings:
1.) #9 Chase Elliott
2.) #7 Regan Smith -38
3.) #3 Ty Dillon -40
4.) #2 Brian Scott -57
5.) #11 Elliott Sadler -60
6.) #6 Trevor Bayne -97
7.) #60 Chris Buescher -194
8.) #62 Brendan Gaughan -222
9.) #16 Ryan Reed -277
10.) #99 James Buescher -289

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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