Kyle Busch takes NHMS Xfinity win, Ty Dillon and Alex Bowman clash
That Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing won another NASCAR Xfinity Series race is no surprise but there was some interesting strategy to this victory.
Busch, who started from the pole, took four new tires on a pit stop on Lap 50 of 200 and went with two-tire pit calls the remaining of the race. By the race’s end, Busch had 96 laps on his right-side tires.
Even with four new tires on his last stop, Busch’s JGR teammate, Erik Jones, couldn’t close the gap enough in a final 14-lap green-flag dash to the finish to attempt a pass for the lead.
The win is Busch’s sixth in the series this season and 82nd of his career. JGR drivers have won 11 of the 17 series races this season and six of the last eight.
“I wasn’t sure (about the tire call),” Busch said in Victory Lane. “We have confidence in the calls that Chris Gayle (crew chief) made. He had confidence in those calls, which I’m proud of. We were able to do the best with what we had there.
“We ran up front and ran with our teammate (Jones) a lot. We were so equal it was hard to tell who had the better car. We had a really good opportunity to keep track position over them.”
Jones said the only real change he would have had to get by Busch was to run him up the track on the final restart.
“There’s not much else I could have done. I had the opportunity to run him up the hill on the last restart. He races me clean all the time. There’s no reason for me to do that to him,” Jones said.
“It’s unfortunate. We wanted to win pretty and I think we had the car to do it. Things just didn’t really pan out our way.”
Brad Keselowski finished third, Daniel Suarez was fourth and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five.
Ty Dillon left seething after colliding with Alex Bowman
Ty Dillon, who was third in points entering the race, got turned on the backstretch by Alex Bowman on Lap 76. Dillon’s crew tried to make repairs on pit road but he was eventually forced to the garage for more extensive work.
Dillon was not happy with Bowman after the incident.
“It's probably my fault for being back there. The guy doesn't get to race very much and he showed why,” Dillon said of Bowman. “I’m very frustrated. He’s beyond the corner, he’s on the straightaway and he just turned left.
“I feel like he's pretty lucky he's on the race track and not in the garage with me. I’m pretty upset right now. That’s not how you race. You don’t turn people down the straight. I don't know what to say because I don't have anything good to say except glad he's not around right now.”
Over his team radio, Bowman said took responsibility for the incident.
“I feel bad there cause I just right-reared him,” he said. “But he drove me to the wall. There was nothing I could do.”
The series moves to Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week, the last of the $100,000 Dash for Cash races which feature two heat races to determine the drivers eligible for the prize followed by the main event.
Busch wins Kentucky Xfinity race, adds another race to his schedule
Kyle Busch hangs on to win again at Indianapolis