Kyle Busch Holds Off Brad Keselowski At Atlanta For 87th NASCAR XFINITY Series Victoryby Camille Jones March 4, 2017 0 comments
HAMPTON, Ga. – Kyle Busch held off Brad Keselowski through lapped traffic in the final laps of Saturday’s Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to capture his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory of the season.
UPDATE: Kyle Busch’s car failed post-race inspection for being too low. Penalties will likely be announced next week.
Busch, the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota claimed his second victory in 13 starts at the 1.5-mile race track. He started on the pole and led 26 laps throughout the afternoon en route to his 87th career NASCAR XFINITY Series race win.
“We weren’t great early on,” said Busch. “We weren’t great through the middle and Scott Graves (crew chief) and these guys, they worked on this car all day long. Really brought the NOS Energy Drink Toyota to life there at the end. Pretty proud to put ourselves in Victory Lane here once again. Two years in a row. It took me so long to get here to begin with and now we won two in a row. That feels really good.”
After putting up a tough battle to chase down Busch for the lead, Keselowski, driver of the Team Penske No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, finished in the second position on Saturday. Keselowski now has six top-10 finishes in eight races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Keselowski also spent time out front. He led 53 laps during Saturday’s race.
Kyle Larson collected his fifth top-10 finish in five races at the track, when he drove his No. 42 Jacob Companies Chevrolet to a third-place finish. Larson led 20 laps during the race.
Finishing in fourth was Kevin Harvick in the No. 41 Textron Outdoors Ford. Elliott Sadler was the highest-finishing NASCAR XFINITY Series regular with a fifth-place finish. Darrell Wallace Jr. finished in the sixth position, followed by William Byron, Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric and Cole Custer, who rounded out the top-10 in the finishing order.
Outside of the cautions marking the end of Stages 1 and 2, there were three incidents over the course of the 163-lap event that brought out the yellow flag.
The race kicked-off with a crash, when Ty Dillon got sideways in his No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet and an oncoming Black Koch in the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet made hard contact. The lap 3 caution sent Koch’s car to the garage. Dillon was able to continue after repairing damage on pit road. Dillon battle back to finish 17th.
Denny Hamlin spun in Turn 1 to bring the caution out on lap 119, and the final caution of the afternoon came out on lap 144, and it was for oil from Clint King’s car.
Throughout the afternoon, there were six lead changes among 4 drivers. Kevin Harvick led a race high of 64 laps.
After just two races, Elliott Sadler currently leads the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship standings by just three points over William Byron.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads West next weekend for the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Live race coverage will be found on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) on Saturday, March 11 at 4 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images