Kyle Busch Dominates To Win AutoLotto 200 At New Hampshire Motor Speedwayby Camille Jones July 17, 2016 0 comments
LOUDON, N.H.– Kyle Busch won in a dominant fashion at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series AutoLotto 200.
His victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was his sixth NASCAR XFINITY Series win of the 2016 season and the 82nd of his career. Busch, driver of the No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, managed to lead 190 of 200 laps at the one-mile oval after starting on the pole. He held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones, for the win on the final restart on lap 186. Over the course of the race, the No. 18 car never took four tires on a pit stop, choosing to take two tires and maintain a good track position for the 200-lap event.
“He (Erik Jones) got a good restart, got to my inside and stayed there a little bit and then the next one he kind of stayed alongside me a little bit too,” Busch said. “He raced me clean and gave me room and didn’t door slam me or anything to try to get the win. Our cars were pretty equal I felt like and it was just a matter of track position. I thought four tires would pay off for him, but it didn’t. That’s just Loudon, that’s just what this place is.”
Busch felt his crew chief, Chris Gayle, made the right calls on the race strategy that was out of the box. He said, “Can’t say enough about Chris Gayle (crew chief) and everyone on this NOS Energy Drink Camry and they did a great job for me. Chris made some great calls today and some really good calls – we had a stout car and we had a stout engine – JGR Engines and Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) – appreciate their support of course and XFINITY Series, this is fun to come out here and run here, race here, win here.”
Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20 GameStop/NASCAR Heat Evolution Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, led three laps but came up short and crossed the finish line in the second position. Jones’ second place finish was his 11th top-10 finish of 2016. The effort was his first NASCAR XFINITY Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“We had a good sequence there, but there’s not much that I could have really done,” Jones said. “I had the opportunity to run him (Busch) up the hill on that last restart, but he races me clean all the time and there’s no reason for me to get into him. It’s unfortunate, we wanted to win pretty bad, but I think we had the car to do it, things just didn’t pan out our way and being in clean air definitely helped out. This GameStop Camry was good and a long way from yesterday. Thanks to everybody who helped out on that, we did a lot of work on it. We’re almost there, just need a little bit more.”
Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 22 Fitzgerald Ford for Team Penske, drove to the third place finish. This was his eighth top-10 finish in eight races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Following the top-three finish, Keselowski feels that the team has room to grow after their run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday.
“We had a decent day,” Keselowski said. “A little better than where we have been which was something to be proud of but of course we want to get to victory lane with the Fitzgerald Ford. We aren’t quite there but we will keep pushing but that was a step in the right direction overall for sure.”
Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon finished fourth and fifth. Brennan Poole had a strong sixth place finish. Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Brendan Gaughan and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-10.
In the 200-mile race, there were 7 cautions for a total of 37 laps; however, the most notable accident came on lap 77, when Alex Bowman and Ty Dillon made contact. Bowman hooked Dillon on the backstretch, sending Dillon’s No. 3 WESCO Chevrolet hard into the outside wall. The contact was questionable as to whether it was an intentional move or not. Bowman insisted the contact was unintentional, while Dillon believes that he wrecked him purposely.
Daniel Suarez currently leads the championship standings by 15 points over Elliott Sadler. With Ty Dillon’s disappointing 33rd place finish, he is now third in the standings, 48 points back from the lead.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to competition on Saturday, July 23 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Live coverage will be found on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images