Kyle Busch Overcomes Adversity And Holds Off Older Brother Kurt To Win At Bristolby Camille Jones April 7, 2019 0 comments
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kyle Busch held off his older brother, Kurt Busch, in a tight battle for the win in Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota, rebounded from early damage to claim his third victory of the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series season.
The 33-year-old Las Vegas native was caught up in a lap two crash to begin the afternoon. The chaos of Bristol began, when William Byron and Aric Almirola made contact. Almirola went into the outside wall and mayhem ensued behind him. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made hard contact with the rear of Busch’s car.
Busch found his way to the lead after battling through the field with damage. He led 71 laps en route to capturing his eighth series victory at Bristol.
“I felt like we had to overcome a lot especially there just on the short runs,” said Busch. “We just didn’t have the burst-off speed that we needed for the first 30-40 laps. It kind of seemed after that we could maintain with a bunch of those guys and then we could kind of run those guys back down just a little bit. It was hit or miss a little for us today and this weekend. We thought we had a pretty good car in second practice yesterday and going into the race. We just didn’t quite have the speed. We just didn’t show exactly what we needed there.”
Kurt Busch’s second-place finish marks his best effort so far this season. The two Busch brothers battled for the victory in the closing laps, but in the end, Kurt just couldn’t make the pass on Kyle.
“It was tough battling our No. 1 Chevy,” Kurt Busch said. “The Monster Energy team is doing a good job. But that one was tough. I really wanted to beat him. I was going to wreck him. I was wanting to stay close enough so that when we took the white, I was just going to drive straight into (Turns) 3 and 4; I mean he’s already won. I figured he could give a little love to his brother, but no. I wanted that one bad. I feel like him right now. I’m like ugh, I’m mad because I didn’t win.”
Joey Logano finished in third after pitting under caution with 22 laps to go. The effort is Logano’s fourth top-five finish this year.
Ryan Blaney led a race high of 158 laps on Sunday before finishing in the fourth position. Denny Hamlin completed the top-five in the finishing order. Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-10.
Keselowski appeared poised to battle for the win in the closing laps before he was penalized for not following directions by NASCAR on lap 486 following his pit stop under yellow. A messy three-wide restart left him black-flagged in the closing laps, leaving him to finish 18th, one lap down after leading 40 laps in the race.
Ty Dillon won Stage 1 after an exciting battle with Clint Bowyer in the closing laps of the segment. Joey Logano claimed the Stage 2 win.
Over the course of the 500-lap race, there were 11 cautions for a total of 77 laps under yellow.
Kyle Busch still leads the point standings, now by 27 points over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will visit Richmond Raceway next weekend for the Toyota Owners 400 on Saturday, April 13. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images