Kyle Busch capitalizes on GWC finish to win at Bristol – Nascar
BRISTOL, Tenn. — When Chris Buescher‘s Ford faltered on a green-white-checkered restart on Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch took full advantage, as is his custom.
In a Food City 300 that went to two laps of overtime at the .533-mile short track, Busch finished .427 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson, as Buescher faded to 11th after his car failed to pick up fuel off Turn 2 of the next-to-last lap.
The victory was Busch’s third of the season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, his eighth at Bristol and the 73rd of his career, extending his own series record.
“This is home — this is where I’m supposed to be,” Busch said, standing outside the car in Victory Lane. “I wish I was here Wednesday night (after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race), so we could continue the sweep lookout for (Saturday), but that was a second place. Oh, well.”
Polesitter Denny Hamlin ran third, followed by Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez, who got a bonus for his top-five run. As the highest finishing eligible driver in the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program, Suarez picked up an extra $100,000.
Pit strategy put Buescher at the front of the field under the fourth caution of the race, caused by Cale Conley‘s spin in Turn 4. Staying out on older tires while most of the lead-lap cars came to pit road for fresh rubber and fuel, Buescher nevertheless pulled away from Busch during a succession of restarts, as Busch saved his equipment for what he thought would be the inevitable late-race caution.
“I let the 60 (Buescher) go,” Busch said. “He ran out there to about a straightaway on us, and I was just trying to save and do what I could to keep my tires underneath me. I knew we were going to get some cautions at the end to bunch us back up, and fortunately we did.
“I wasn’t sure they were going to make it on fuel (having pitted on lap 131 of 302), and obviously they cut it close — a little too close.”
Busch got the yellow he needed, just in time. Brad Teague‘s wreck on the frontstretch with five laps left set up the green-white-checkered and gave Busch the chance he needed.
Buescher, who saw his series lead shrink to 19 points over Ty Dillon, knew he could have made it to the end on fuel, had the race not gone to overtime.