Kyle Busch spins and then wins Road America Xfinity race
Kyle Busch’s day at Road America on Saturday ended far better than it started.
Busch, who wrecked his car during Cup practice early in the day, spun twice in Saturday’s Xfinity race but passed A.J. Allmendinger for the lead with four of 45 laps remaining.
His challengers changed over the final five laps, but he remained out front and claimed the win by 3.5 seconds over Daniel Hemric.
Busch is now a perfect 4-for-4 in Xfinity Series races this season and the victory was No. 101 for the series’ all-time wins leader.
“Obviously, tires. That was the saving grace for us,” said Busch, who was among a large group of drivers to pit on Lap 37 for new tires. “We had a set of tires left over and (Allmendinger) didn’t.
“When we did put our last set of tires on, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to get through that many cars. I don’t know what happened on those last couple of restarts. I couldn’t really see what was happening.
“We were fortunate to get by that stuff and get through that stuff without any damage to our race car.”
Michael Annett ended up third, A.J. Allmendinger was fourth and Harrison Burton rounded out the top-five.
Completing the top-10 were Kevin Harvick, Riley Herbst, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson and Justin Haley.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, several drivers pit but Justin Allgaier stayed out and inherited the lead. Allmendinger was forced to restart from the rear of the field as he had a crew member over the wall too soon during his pit stop.
On the restart on Lap 23, Allgaier was followed by Busch and Ty Gibbs.
On Lap 24, Cindric got around Allgaier to take the lead for the first time in the race.
With 20 laps remaining, Cindric maintained about a 4-second lead over Gragson while Allgaier ran third and Busch fourth.
On Lap 27, Spencer Pumpelly, who had just returned to the race from the garage, went into Turn 1 with no brakes and slammed hard into the retaining wall and tire barrier, lifting his No. 6 car several feet into the air.
Several drivers elected to pit under the caution, including Cindric. Brandon Jones remained on track and inherited the lead.
Hemric was penalized for having a crew member over the wall too soon during his stop and had to restart from the rear of the field.
The race resumed on Lap 30 with Jones out front followed by Harrison Burton and Harvick.
On Lap 31, Cindric went three-wide and came away with the lead as Harrison Burton moved into second.
With 13 laps remaining, Gibbs had worked his way up to second as Allgaier ran third.
On Lap 35, Gibbs’s No. 81 came to stop between Turns 5 and 6 after it appeared he broke a transmission and brought out a caution.
Several teams decided to pit under the caution but Gragson remained on the track and took over the lead. On the restart on Lap 38, Gragson was followed by Allmendinger and Haley. Cindric lined up 10th, the first car among those who pit.
As the field went through Turn 1, Myatt Snider got turned into the inside wall after contact with Kaz Grala then crossed back onto the track which triggered a big wreck and brought out another caution.
Among those involved were Cindric, Allgaier, Busch, Jones Harrison Burton, Kris Wright and Cody Ware, who plowed through several signs.
When the race returned to green on Lap 40, Gragson remained out front, followed by Haley and Allmendinger.
With five laps to go, Busch had closed to the rear bumper of Allmendinger and by Turn 3 on Lap 41, Busch powered around Allmendinger for the lead.
With three laps remaining, Busch had about a 2-second lead over Allmendinger as Annett ran third.
Allmendinger passed Allgaier with two laps remaining and held on to take the Stage 2 victory.
Hemric was third, Haley fourth and Busch rounded out the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, a number of teams elected to pit but Cindric stayed out and inherited the lead.
On the restart on Lap 13, Cindric was followed by Gragson and Allgaier. Gibbs started from the rear to serve his restart penalty from Stage 1.
Hemric cleared Cindric off Turn 1 to take the lead for the first time.
On Lap 13, Herbst turned Sam Mayer into the retaining wall as both entered Turn 12. Mayer’s No. 8 Chevrolet received significant damage.
A handful of cars pit but Hemric stayed out and led the way on the restart on Lap 16.
Allgaier got around Hemric through Turn 14 to grab the lead for the first time.
With two laps remaining in the stage, Allmendinger had reclaimed the lead from Allgaier.
Allmendinger easily held off Cindric to take the Stage 1 win.
Jeb Burton was third, Haley fourth and Gragson rounded out the top-five.
Gibbs started on the pole and led the first two laps until Allmendinger got around him to move into the lead on Lap 3.
With five laps remaining in the first stage, Allmendinger had opened up a 1-second lead over Gibbs. Gragson, who had started from the rear of the field, had made his way up to 14th.
NASCAR displayed a caution on Lap 6 as Pumpelly’s No. 6 Chevrolet got stuck in the gravel pit and had to be extracted.
Several teams elected to pit under the caution but Allmendinger remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 9. He was followed by Cindric and Jeb Burton.
Busch ran off course in Turn 3 but was able to get restarted and continue on without a caution.
Gibbs was assessed a penalty for changing lanes prior to the restart.
Both Gragson (engine change) and Herbst (backup car) had to start the race from the rear of the field.
|15||44||Tommy Joe Martins||Chevrolet||45||2:26'08.443||20.938||1.231|
|28||51||Jeremy Clements||Chevrolet||44||2:26'38.378||1 Lap||1 Lap|
|29||07||Josh Bilicki||Chevrolet||42||2:19'33.509||3 Laps||2 Laps|
|30||78||Ryan Ellis||Chevrolet||42||2:21'35.597||3 Laps||2'02.088|
|31||02||Brett Moffitt||Chevrolet||41||2:17'34.011||4 Laps||1 Lap|
|32||23||Natalie Decker||Chevrolet||38||2:10'39.176||7 Laps||3 Laps|
|33||81||Ty Gibbs||Toyota||34||1:48'32.522||11 Laps||4 Laps||2|
|34||48||Jade Buford||Chevrolet||16||54'07.693||29 Laps||18 Laps|
|35||8||Sam Mayer||Chevrolet||12||38'57.171||33 Laps||4 Laps|
|36||6||Spencer Pumpelly||Chevrolet||11||1:22'20.367||34 Laps||1 Lap|
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