Kyle Busch wins 82nd career Xfinity race in dominating fashion at New Hampshire
Pole sitter Kyle Busch dominated en route to victory in Saturday’s AutoLotto 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Busch, who extended his own Xfinity record of poles earned to 53, led all but 10 laps – 190 of the 200 total laps – to capture his 82nd career Xfinity Series win, also extending his own series record.
“Records are meant to be broken,” Busch said after the race to NBCSN. “There may be somebody like me that comes down in years down the road and that does the same thing I’ve been fortunate enough to do. … It’s something cool for me to do and fun for me to do and helps me out and gives me more experience.”
It was also Busch’s fifth career Xfinity win at the flat 1.058-mile so-called “Magic Mile.”
Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez was fourth and Austin Dillon came in fifth.
“Our cars were pretty equal, I felt like,” Busch said of Jones. “It was just a matter of track position. … (Crew chief) Chris Gale made some really good calls today and had a stout car. It’s fun to come out here, run here and win here. I think I learned a few things today that hopefully I can use tomorrow (in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race).”
Jones not only finished second, he clinched a spot in the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase for the Championship later this season.
“I think we were just as good, if not a little better, when we were close to him (Busch),” Jones said. “I think if we stayed a little closer, maybe we could have forced him to make a mistake. … The 18 was the class of the field today. It feels good to be up there with him, but we want to beat him one of these times.”
Alex Bowman, who will drive for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday’s New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, finished eighth in the Xfinity event, even though he was involved in a wreck with Ty Dillon.
“I’ll talk to him,” Bowman said of Dillon and the incident after the race. “The kid tried to wreck me four times ad couldn’t get it done.
“I’ll probably let him calm down so I can talk to him without it turning into him yelling at me. That’s probably what I would do, too. I’d be upset, too. He has every right to be upset. Yes, I will speak to him, but I’ll let him cool down first.”
HOW BUSCH WON: Once again, Busch had the best car of the field. The race came to him, rather than he coming to the race, and Busch was able to repel all challengers, most notably Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones (finished second) and Daniel Suarez (fourth).
WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Even though he struggled to get grip late in the race, which could have reduced his chance for a late rally, Brad Keselowski still enjoyed a good day. … Alex Bowman finished eighth.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Dillon and Alex Bowman wrecked on Lap 75. Dillon took his car to the garage for repairs, while Bowman was able to continue on and finished eighth. Dillon finished 33rd. … Corey LaJoie backed his car into the wall on Lap 64 in a single-car wreck. LaJoie finished 37th. … While trying to go three-wide on a restart on Lap 173, Darrell Wallace Jr. got sandwiched between Austin Dillon and Brennan Poole, spinning and then collecting Ryan Preece and Ross Chastain. Even so, Wallace finished 12th. While Preece was able to continue on, damage from the wreck led to a flat tire on the that brought out another caution on the ensuing restart on Lap 181.
NOTABLE: Saturday was Kyle Busch’s sixth win in 10 starts this season in the Xfinity Series. … Only 13 of the 40 drivers that started finished on the lead lap.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I hate that for the 3 car, it’s unfortunate, but I definitely didn’t do it intentionally. He can think what he wants. He’ll get over it some day. I did not mean to do it.” – Alex Bowman responding to Ty Dillon’s accusation that Bowman intentionally wrecked Dillon.
WHAT’S NEXT: Lilly Diabetes 250, Saturday, July 23, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.