Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN: Friday, Aug. 18th 10:55 pm
Kyle Busch(18) took the green flag from the pole, drove off into the first turn, and looked like he would run away from the other 39 cars in the race. The NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway was Busch’s race to lose. Although he battled briefly with Joey Logano(22) and Justin Allgaier(7), it was clear Busch had the fastest car in the field.
Busch won the 85-lap first stage and during the stage ending caution pitted for fuel and tires. Then came the announcement that turned the second stage into a fascinating race. Busch was too fast off pit road and would have to start Stage 2 from the rear of the field. Interestingly, Busch’s front row companion at the start of the race, Logano was penalized for the same infraction. It was like Friday night at your local track when they invert the field after the heat and the leaders start from the rear in the feature.
Coming to the restart on lap 94, Busch took the green flag in 19th with Logano in 20th. The other 3 cars on the lead lap opted to line-up behind the speedy duo. Busch quickly left Logano behind and started slicing through the pack of cars in front of him.
By lap 108 Busch was 15th, on lap 121 he moved into 10th. In 24 more laps, Busch captured the fifth position. Would he be able to regain the lead by the time the green and white checkered flag fell on lap 170 at the end of stage two?
Back to the Lead
Coming under the flag stand on lap 154 Busch had climbed into the second spot. It took only three more laps for him to take the lead. Busch continued to run precision laps winning Stage 2 handily.
Busch led 186 of the 300 laps and during the Stage 3 passed a remarkable milestone. Driving in all three of NASCAR’s premier series, Busch has now held the lead for over 38,000 laps.
Three wide racing at various times during the race brought the fans to their feet. Busch had one more obstacle to hurdle before the end of the race. With 16 laps to go Brendan Gaughan and Jeb Burton tangle just in front of Busch. The caution meant a late-race restart would bunch the field for short sprint to the finish.
Food City 300 Victory 19th Time Busch Wins at Bristol
Busch sprinted faster than anyone and took the checkered flag for his 19th victory at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”