Busch dominates NASCAR Xfinity race at Kentucky Speedway
SPARTA, Ky. (AP) Being good all night long at Kentucky Speedway helped Kyle Busch get the luck he needed for another impressive finish.
Busch led 185 laps and caught a huge break before surviving a final restart to win Friday's 300-mile NASCAR Xfinity Series race for his first victory on the 1.5 mile tri-oval since 2004.
''It feels good to score that victory,'' said Busch, who entered with five top-fives and 200 laps led here. ''Been a long time since I got a win.''
The defending Sprint Cup Series champion needed overtime to get the win in his No. 18 Toyota, with the race going one circuit past its scheduled 200 laps after a late caution. Busch then outdueled Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon in a three-wide restart and went on to win by .455 seconds.
Busch benefited from a late mistake by Erik Jones. He passed Busch for the lead after a lap 174 restart just before the fourth yellow, but inadvertently shut off his car and fell to third as a penalty for failing to keep up with the pace car.
Dillon was second in a Chevy, with Suarez third in a Toyota and Jones fourth in a Toyota.
''I wasn't trying to save fuel, I was doing something else and trying to get the best restart I could and unfortunately I hit the wrong button,'' Jones said.
One night after his Camping World Truck Series team became that series' winningest outfit, the Xfinity career wins leader earned his fifth victory and ninth top-10 this season. For a while the question was whether anybody would get close to Busch.
After claiming the pole with a speed of 187.318 mph, Busch set his own groove and pace on the resurfaced, reconfigured track and had all the grip he needed after a full day of Cup practice. He led six times after starting on the pole.
Only on that one restart did Busch show vulnerability as Jones made a gutsy pass on the outside. Jones never got the chance to put room between him and Busch as Ray Black Jr. quickly spun out to draw the yellow flag.
Jones' No. 20 car then appeared to stall during the caution, creating the penalty and a turn of events that handed the lead to Busch for good.
''I didn't think the outside would carry the speed as much as the inside and Erik Jones proved me wrong,'' Busch said. ''I certainly learned from that and when he had his problems not being able to get the car re-fired, it just kind of handed the race back to us and from there I chose to restart the race on the outside from there on out. That's what won us the race.''