Kyle Busch Wins Prelude Dirt Race
Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch edged fellow Cup driver and event host Tony Stewart in Wednesday night’s Prelude to the Dream charity dirt-track race at Eldora Speedway in Rossberg, Ohio.
Busch, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Cup series, started second. He ran among the leaders in the A Main for most of the 40-lap late-model race.
Busch got a big break when leader Kasey Kahne, also a Cup star, wrecked with Bobby Labonte.
“When Kahne had his mishap, we inherited the lead and just were able to set sail from there,” Busch said. “I felt like Kahne had a fast car tonight. He was probably the class of the field. Bowyer was really hustling hard and making it work through traffic and got by him. Then we caught the lapped cars and everybody just slowed down, the pace slowed up and everybody got loose trying to slide each other.
“Crazy, freak deal there with Kahne sliding (into the No. 44 car of Labonte) in (turn) three. I don’t know if he didn’t see him, or what. They called the caution a little late and I bet he didn’t even have time to react. From there, we had 16 laps to go and it felt like the longest 16 laps of my career here at Eldora.”
The race benefited Feed The Children with the net proceeds from the HBO pay-per-view telecast.
Danica Patrick raced for the first time on dirt and finished 15th.
Austin Dillon, who runs in the NASCAR Nationwide series, finished third.
The all-star field included drivers from the NASCAR Truck series, IndyCar, NHRA and World of Outlaws sprints.
“This is cool,” said Busch, who finished 2.283 seconds over Stewart. “This is what it’s all about when you go dirt racing. It’s a lot of fun. I can’t say enough about (team owner) Scott Bloomquist and all these guys. They give me great racecars every time we come here and I’ve torn them up a few times, including tonight (in qualifying). We were able to come back through, get a good heat race, get a good starting spot for the main event and run up front there with the leaders all night.”
Results Wednesday of the eighth annual Prelude To The Dream Benefiting Feed The Children dirt Late Model event June 6 at the half-mile Eldora Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any):
1. (2) Kyle Busch, 40
2. (9) Tony Stewart, 40
3. (4) Austin Dillon, 40
4. (8) Donny Schatz, 40
5. (6) Ryan Newman, 40
6. (10) Aric Almirola, 40
7. (18) Cruz Pedregon, 40
8. (20) Dave Blaney, 40
9. (5) Ty Dillon, 40
10. (22) Justin Allgaier, 40
11. (14) Jimmie Johnson, 40
12. (15) Kenny Wallace, 40
13. (16) Ray Evernham, 39
14. (19) Bill Elliott, 39
15. (25) Danica Patrick, 37
16. (1) Kasey Kahne, 24, Accident
17. (7) Bobby Labonte, 24, Accident
18. (12) Jason Leffler, 23, Mechanical
19. (3) Clint Bowyer, 22, Mechanical
20. (21) David Gilliland, 18, Mechanical
21. (23) Ron Capps, 3, Accident
22. (13) Tony Kanaan, 2, Mechanical
23. (24) J.J. Yeley, 2, Accident
24. (11) Kenny Schrader, 1, Accident
25. (17) Steve Kinser, 1, Accident
26. (26) Kurt Busch, DNS, Accident in Heat Race
Winner’s average speed: 51.211 mph
Time of race: 23:25.951
Margin of victory: 2.283 seconds
Lead changes: 3
Leaders: Kahne 1-12; Bowyer 13-21; Kahne 22-24; Ky. Busch 25-40
Attendance: Approximately 20,000No Comment