Kyle Busch earns 77th career Xfinity win, first time at Atlanta
Pole sitter Kyle Busch dominated en route to victory in Saturday’s Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Busch led 119 of the race’s 163 laps to capture his record-extending 77th win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Ironically, it was Busch’s first career Xfinity win at the 1.54-mile AMS after five previous runner-up finishes.
“This is a pretty good deal,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “I’m glad to get it out of the way and check it off the list.”
It was also the 26th time Busch has won an Xfinity race on a 1.5-mile track.
Kyle Larson finished second, followed by Erik Jones, Paul Menard and Ty Dillon.
Brad Keselowski finished sixth, followed by Daniel Suarez, Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Jeb Burton.
HOW BUSCH WON: Busch had the dominant car all day. No surprise there. In fact, only four drivers led a lap: Busch, Brad Keselowski (28 laps), Justin Allgaier (15) and Jeb Burton (1). Busch took the lead from Keselowski on Lap 73 and remained in control for the final 90 laps to take the checkered flag.
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Kyle Larson kept tracking Busch down in the closing laps but couldn’t quite reach him, finishing .466 of a second behind. Larson had fresher tires and, had the race gone maybe an extra lap or two, may have passed Busch … Erik Jones was penalized after inadvertently jumping ahead of Busch to start the race. Jones rallied back to finish third … Ty Dillon, doing double duty this weekend (he’ll replace Tony Stewart in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race), finished a strong fifth.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Darrell Wallace’s Ford struggled the rest of the day after making contact with the No. 13 Dodge of Josh Reaume on pit road on Lap 104. Wallace was moving towards his pit box when Reaume turned left and cut down on Wallace, spinning him into the infield grass. Wallace ultimately wound up finishing 18th, the same place he started. Reaume finished 34th. … Joey Gase was having a good race until he lost a tire, ultimately finishing 32nd.
NOTABLE: For the third consecutive Xfinity race at AMS, only five cautions were called (for a total of 21 laps). … With his win, Busch has now won at least one race at Atlanta in each of the three major series: Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Trucks. … Even though the series has only had two races, the points standings are extremely tight, with just 10 points separating the top six drivers. Elliott Sadler holds a three-point lead over Daniel Suarez in the Xfinity standings. Ty Dillon is third, five points behind Sadler, while Brandon Jones is fourth (-6), Justin Allgaier is fifth (-7) and Brendan Gaughan is sixth (-10).
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It means a lot. It’s been a while, but it certainly means a lot just to accomplish some of the goals I have in racing. To come out here and do this today and beat Kyle Larson, this must be his favorite race track. He’s really good here, too.” – Kyle Busch on holding off Kyle Larson for the win.
WHAT’S NEXT: Boyd Gaming 300, March 5, Las Vegas Motor Speedway