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Kyle Busch Holds Off Kyle Larson To Win At Atlanta Motor Speedway

Kyle Busch Holds Off Kyle Larson To Win At Atlanta Motor Speedway

by February 27, 2016 0 comments

HAMPTON, Ga. – Kyle Busch held off a hard-charging Kyle Larson to win Saturday’s Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

In the second NASCAR XFINITY Series event of the 2016 season, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota secured the pole before going on to lead 119 of the 163 laps, earning his first win in Atlanta. He has finished second, five times at the speedway in 25 previous series starts. The win also marks the first victory for Joe Gibbs Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and the first for Toyota Racing at the track in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

“It means a lot. It’s been a while, but certainly means a lot just to accomplish some of my goals that I have in racing,” Busch said. “To come out here and to do this today and to beat Kyle Larson – this must be his favorite tracks or one of the just being able to move all over this race track and he’s really good here too. Real proud of our team. This NOS Energy Drink Camry was fast. Looks really, really good to on the race track – looks even better in victory lane, so pumped for them.”

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20 Hisense USA Toyota, started second but quickly suffered a stop-and-go penalty for a start violation. He beat race leader, Kyle Busch to the starting line. Jones was able to rebound to finish third, earning his first top-10 finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“It just made the day a lot longer.” Jones said. “I knew we had the car to do it, but it was just a matter of not burning the tires off while we were doing it and trying to get back up there. Just made it a long day for the Hisence Camry, but overall a good day, a nice rebound from Daytona and a good way to get the season on track and get headed in the right direction.”

In the closing laps, Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 ENEOS Chevrolet, battled hard with Busch for the race lead. Larson searched high and low, trying to find the fastest line, but he came up just short to finish second. The runner-up finish is Larson’s fourth top-10 finish in four races at the speedway.

“I actually thought that last run was going to be too long for our car, which was better for (Kyle) Larson’s car,” Busch said. “We made some adjustments. (Chris) Gayle (crew chief) did a good job making some adjustments to our car and it helped me. It helped me definitely on the front side of the run for about the first 20 and I don’t think it hurt me from there on to the end of the race, but Larson was just better than us. He kind of closed and closed and closed and lap traffic – you know you’re trying to figure it out – they were really nice to me.

With Busch taking the victory, Larson finishing second and Jones finishing third. Paul Menard and Ty Dillon completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 was Brad Keselowski, Daniel Suarez, Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Jeb Burton.

Elliott Sadler currently leads the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings after two races by just three points over Daniel Suarez. Ty Dillon, Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier currently complete the top-five in the championship point standings.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to competition for the Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday, March 5 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coverage of the race will broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 4 p.m. ET.

UPDATE: Paul Menard’s car failed post-race inspection. His right rear toe didn’t meet specifications. Menard finished fourth.

Heads Up Georgia 250 Results:

1.) #18 Kyle Busch

2.) #42 Kyle Larson

3.) #20 Erik Jones

4.) #2 Paul Menard

5.) #3 Ty Dillon

6.) #22 Brad Keselowski

7.) #19 Daniel Suarez

8.) #7 Justin Allgaier

9.) #1 Elliott Sadler

10.) #43 Jeb Burton

11.) #33 Brandon Jones

12.) #88 Kevin Harvick

13.) #62 Brendan Gaughan

14.) #48 Brennan Poole

15.) #16 Ryan Reed

16.) #39 Ryan Sieg

17.) #51 Jeremy Clements

18.) #6 Darrell Wallace Jr.

19.) #14 JJ Yeley

20.) #11 Blake Koch

21.) #28 Dakoda Armstrong

22.) #01 Ryan Preece

23.) #24 Corey Lajoie

24.) #0 Garrett Smithley

25.) #90 Mario Gosselin

26.) #78 BJ McLeod

27.) #70 Derrike Cope

28.) #4 Ross Chastain

29.) #25 Chris Cockrum

30.) #74 Mike Harmon

31.) #15 Cody Ware

32.) #52 Joey Gase

33.) #07 Ray Black Jr.

34.) #13 Josh Reaume

35.) #97 Harrison Rhodes

36.) #40 Carl Long

37.) #89 Morgan Shepherd

38.) #99 Todd Peck

39.) #44 David Starr

40.) #10 Jeff Green

 

Photo Credit: Wayne Thomas

Camille Jones

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