Kentucky King: Kyle Busch captures seventh victory at Kentucky Speedway
By Matt Courson
July 8, 2017
SPARTA, Ky.— Kyle Busch captured his 88th win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.
Busch, who led the second most laps at 70 in the 200 lap event, led the final 33 laps after electing to stay out on pit road and stretch the event on fuel.
“It’s certainly nice to get to victory lane anytime you can,” Busch said. “It’s been a heck of a year on the bad front for us so it’s nice to have this as a little bit of a turnaround.”
Teammates Kyle Busch and Erik Jones led the field to the green flag, but disaster struck before the leaders could even get into Turn 1.
A stack-up of cars on the initial start of the race brought out the first caution of the rain-delayed Alsco 300.
The field got stacked up when several cars accelerated too early before the green flag was dropped, causing several cars to spin across the start-finish line. Among the drivers involved were Blake Koch, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones, and Brendan Gaughan.
The race resumed on lap five, with Erik Jones swiping the lead from Kyle Busch, but the caution once again came out two laps later.
Gaughan’s No. 62 South Point Chevrolet was unable to recover from the damage he had received on the lap 1 incident, and crashed into the Turn 2 outside wall, bringing out the second yellow flag of the day. He would ultimately finish 39th.
The field was able to get a rhythm going, with Erik Jones in command, until the third caution flew on lap 25 for a scheduled competition caution.
A 16 lap green-flag stretch ended on Lap 45 when the caution flag waved from the flag stand, signaling the end of Stage 1. Erik Jones claimed the stage victory, followed by Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, and Tyler Reddick.
Erik Jones and Kevin Harvick stayed out on the race track, and inherited the front row.
Blaney led the next 51 laps, with Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Jones and Busch exchanging the runner up spot back and forth.
The second stage would run caution free, with Ryan Blaney in command from flag-to-flag.
A single-car spin by Paul Menard in Turn 3 brought out the sixth caution of the afternoon.
The seventh yellow flag flew as Joey Gase’s engine expired and left fuel out on the race track.
A 38-lap green flag run ended on Lap 166 after Ray Black Jr. spun coming off of pit road in Turn 2.
During pit stops, NASCAR penalized Ryan Blaney’s team for an outside tire violation while pitting from the second position. The Wood Brother’s driver would go on to restart 22nd and recover from the penalty, finishing second.
Busch stayed out, trying to make it to the finish while running on fumes.
Kyle Busch restarted up front, once again alongside teammate Erik Jones. The two quickly escaped from the pack, with the two ahead by over one second after two laps.
Busch led the final 33 laps enroute to his second victory this season in the XFINITY Series.
Kyle Busch captured his 88th win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
This was Busch’s third career win in the NXS at Kentucky Speedway.
Erik Jones led the most laps at 77.
There were eight cautions for 44 laps.
20 cars finished on the lead lap.
Six out of the 11 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers finished inside the top 10.