Kyle Busch wins Xfinity race at Kansas, Buescher maintains points lead
Overcoming an earlier speeding penalty on pit road, Kyle Busch roared back to capture Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 race at Kansas Speedway.
The victory was Busch’s record 75th in the Xfinity Series.
“This was a good day for us and something to kind of build off hopefully and see what we can do tomorrow (in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race),” Busch said. "(In the last 30-40 laps) my tongue was hanging out, man. I can’t imagine what Matt felt like. He was driving way harder than I was. But, man, when you’ve got two real good race cars like that, you just have to bring ‘em home.”
Busch passed Matt Kenseth, who led the most laps (148), with 20 laps to go and never relinquished it, even when the race was extended four extra laps and a green-white-checkered finish.
Busch led 56 laps, making he and Kenseth the only drivers to lead a lap in the 204-lap event.
Joey Logano finished third, followed by Ty Dillon, Regan Smith, points leader Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Ryan Sieg, Daniel Suarez and Brendan Gaughan.
On Lap 195, the motor in Joey Gase’s car blew up, bringing out the eighth caution of the race.
When the race resumed on Lap 202, Busch got a great restart ands sailed on to the victory.
How Busch won: Once he got past Kenseth with 16 laps to go in the scheduled 200-lap race (which eventually would be extended four additional laps due to a late caution), Busch kept his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate at bay every time Kenseth tried to get past him. On the previous restart, Kenseth was shocked to see Busch come to the front so quickly. Kenseth said over his team radio, “How did he get up there without jumping the restart?”
Who else had a good day: Chris Buescher finished sixth, continuing to maintain his lead in the Xfinity Series standings. … Ty Dillon’s fourth-place finish kept him within striking distance of Buescher with three races remaining in the season. The series has the next two weekends off before resuming again at Texas. … Regan Smith’s fifth-place finish preceded the post-race revelation that he will not be returning to JR Motorsports next season, per a tweet by NBCSN’s Marty Snider.
Who had a bad day: Korbin Forrister and Jennifer Jo Cobb got together in a wreck, leaving Forrister with a 31st place finish, while Cobb finished two spots higher in 29th. … Brian Scott had what he thought was a car to potentially win, but ultimately finished 23rd, one lap behind the leaders. … Cale Conley had what looked like a strong car before he wrecked just before the midpoint, finishing 30th.
Notable: Even though he qualified 12th, Chase Elliott had to start from the back of the field in a back-up car after wrecking his primary No. 9 Chevy during qualifying. The back-up was outstanding early on, as Elliott moved up 23 spots in the first 12 laps. … Darrell Wallace Jr. had to go to a back up car after wrecking in practice Friday, but still managed a strong 11th-place finish.
Quote of the day: “Every point counts. When you take a look at the finish there and realize where the guys are at about in points, one or two points (gained) isn’t going to cut it down for them. If we keep knocking down where we are, then we’ll just fine.” – Xfinity Series points leader Chris Buscher, who maintains a semi-comfortable lead in the standings.
What’s next: After 16 consecutive races, the Xfinity Series takes the next two weekends off. The series resumes on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 3:30 pm ET with the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.