Kyle Busch Scratches Kansas Off His List, Wins Go Bowling 400by Kyle Pokrefky May 8, 2016 0 comments
KANSAS CITY — Entering Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway, Kyle Busch had been yet to win on three of the circuits that the Sprint Cup Series annually visits.
Exiting Kansas late Saturday, that number dwindled down to two.
Busch was the victor for the third time this season and for the 37th time in his career on Saturday night. With his win, the only tracks Busch is now yet to win on in the Sprint Cup Series are Charlotte Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway.
For the first-time Kansas winner, the accomplishment of crossing a track off of his ‘winless’ list is a huge sigh of relief given his history at the track.
“It feels great,” Busch said of the win. “I wouldn’t call it a dream come true, but there’s been some horror dreams before and this is certainly a lot better one.
“It’s nice to be able to accomplish the things you set out to accomplish and having some of those race tracks being some that have been very difficult for me over the years, especially Kansas.”
The driver of the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota was solid throughout the entire night, hanging around the top-10 for a majority of the race and leading 69 laps en route to the win.
“It was a really great day,” Busch said. “I didn’t know we had that much speed in our race car, I guess I should have known. Adam and these guys continue to impress me each and every week.
“We had a top-five car in the beginning and the middle of the race and we just kept making improvements to it and kept making it better.”
Crossing the finish line second behind the defending series champion was Kevin Harvick, who earned his fifth top-five finish of the season and retained the points lead he held entering Kansas.
For the 2013 Kansas fall race winner, Saturday’s runner-up finish served as a positive end to a race that was a constant work in progress. The driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet fought hard throughout the race, coming all the way to the front from a 26th-place starting position.
“Really proud of my team for what they did,” Harvick said. “From where the car was yesterday, to change pretty much everything on the car and have it be that competitive on the racetrack today says a lot about our team.
“We went down some different roads throughout the weekend that didn’t work and were able to go with what we normally run and be competitive. So just super proud of the effort and excited that we have the capability to do the things that we did today.”
Rounding out the top-10 of the finishing order was Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman, A.J. Allmendinger, Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski.
The dominant car of the race belonged to Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr., who ended up with a disappointing 14th-place finish.
Truex Jr., the pole-sitter for the race, led a race-high 172 laps before a loose wheel ended up dooming his hopes with less than 100 laps to go. The driver of the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops machine was in charge of a Toyota stranglehold of the top spot of the scoring pylon with the manufacturer leading all but 21 of the race’s 267 laps.
A total of six cautions took place in the race, totaling for 30 laps.
Debris cautions brought out the first and fourth cautions of the night respectively on laps 24 and 169 while individual accidents by Matt DiBenedetto, Paul Menard and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were the cause for the respective second, third and fifth cautions of the night.
The largest incident of the night triggered the final caution and took out Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson from contention for the win.
Unofficially, Harvick will retain the points lead by four points heading into next Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway.
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images