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Busch’s Chase Chase Rolls Through Kentucky

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, July 12 2015
Kyle Busch had a blast in Kentucky on Saturday night. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

Kyle Busch had a blast in Kentucky on Saturday night. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Kyle Busch’s scramble to make the Sprint Cup Series’ season-ending playoffs maintained momentum Saturday night when the Joe Gibbs Racing driver won  the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

sprint-logo-08The victory was Busch’s second since returning from an 11-race absence that was caused by leg injuries suffered at Daytona during February’s Speedweeks.

NASCAR has granted Busch permission to race in the 10-race, 16-driver Chase if he wins a race and finishes in the top 30 in points. The driver from Vegas certainly looked Chase-worthy in Kentucky.

Busch wrestled the lead from Joey Logano for the final time on Lap 248 through Turn 2 and then pulled away to win by 1.594 seconds.

“That right there is what we have to do,” Busch said of his Chase chase. “Just to score as many points as we possibly can and score those wins, that’s what’s going to get us where we need to be. We led the most laps and we won the race so that’s all you can score. We’ll just continue to push on and drive and try to strive through our deficit and get ourselves in position to be in the top-30.”

Busch led a race-high 163 laps, scoring a maximum 48 points and moving to 35th in the standings, 87 points behind Cole Whitt in 30th.

 

Busch won for the 31st time in his career and the second time at the 1.5-mile track. It was his second victory of the season.

Team Penske’s Logano finished second, while JGR teammates Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.

Busch called the victory a fun one and spread the credit around thickly.

“That was awesome,” he said. “I can’t say enough about Adam Stevens (crew chief) and this whole M&M’s Crispy team. They did a phenomenal job for me preparing a great race car. This Toyota Camry was fast.

“It’s pretty cool to come here to Kentucky, one of my best places and to score a win. You have to be able to score that win to be here in victory lane. This team did it for me – awesome stops all day, getting us and keeping us up front and just a great race car to move all around the race track. What a blast.”

The race featured use of a new aerodynamics package which NASCAR officials developed especially for the 1.5-mile Kentucky track. It seemed to work as the race featured a track-record 22 green-flag passes for the lead.

Busch loved it and so did some others.

“This package, we need to keep going in this direction,” Edwards said. “We could race closer together—I was steering right. We were using the whole car. We just need to keep taking downforce away. It was an awesome show. Just an awesome, fun day and I’m glad Kyle got the win.”

 

 

 

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts

Kentucky Speedway

Sparta, Kentucky

Saturday, July 11, 2015

  1. (9) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267, $209316.
  2. (4) Joey Logano, Ford, 267, $161118.
  3. (8) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267, $125335.
  4. (20) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 267, $124295.
  5. (16) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267, $136511.
  6. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267, $135256.
  7. (3) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 267, $135176.
  8. (15) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 267, $137640.
  9. (6) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267, $132151.
  10. (13) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267, $102715.
  11. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 267, $95890.
  12. (12) Aric Almirola, Ford, 267, $123951.
  13. (28) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 267, $126790.
  14. (7) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 267, $116156.
  15. (14) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 267, $93915.
  16. (27) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267, $116523.
  17. (5) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 267, $111035.
  18. (25) David Ragan, Toyota, 267, $111479.
  19. (30) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 267, $118123.
  20. (26) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267, $121290.
  21. (10) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 267, $99365.
  22. (18) Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 267, $109660.
  23. (21) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 267, $109248.
  24. (32) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 267, $106998.
  25. (11) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267, $119526.
  26. (24) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 267, $111423.
  27. (19) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 266, $97090.
  28. (36) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 266, $82065.
  29. (34) David Gilliland, Ford, 266, $101523.
  30. (29) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 266, $83290.
  31. (31) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 266, $90772.
  32. (38) Brett Moffitt #, Ford, 266, $80115.
  33. (22) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 265, $105779.
  34. (23) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 265, $86515.
  35. (1) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 265, $112373.
  36. (42) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 264, $78410.
  37. (33) Cole Whitt, Ford, 264, $78352.
  38. (40) Will Kimmel III, Ford, 263, $73752.
  39. (41) JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 260, $69680.
  40. (43) Alex Kennedy #, Chevrolet, 247, $65680.
  41. (35) Jeb Burton #, Toyota, Suspension, 175, $61680.
  42. (39) Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, Accident, 145, $57680.
  43. (37) Josh Wise, Ford, Accident, 17, $54180.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  129.402 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 05 Mins, 42 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.594 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  11 for 49 laps.

Lead Changes:  13 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:    0; B. Keselowski 1-32; R. Sorenson 33; Kyle Busch 34-94; B. Keselowski 95-124; Kyle Busch 125-188; R. Newman 189-190; Kyle Busch 191-208; A. Bowman 209-210; D. Hamlin 211-212; C. Edwards 213; D. Hamlin 214-224; J. Logano 225-247; Kyle Busch 248-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Busch 4 times for 163 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 62 laps; J. Logano 1 time for 23 laps; D. Hamlin 2 times for 13 laps; A. Bowman 1 time for 2 laps; R. Newman 1 time for 2 laps; R. Sorenson 1 time for 1 lap; C. Edwards 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 692; J. Johnson – 624; J. Logano – 624; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 616; M. Truex Jr. – 596; B. Keselowski – 559; J. Mcmurray – 556; Kurt Busch – 542; M. Kenseth – 540; J. Gordon – 537; D. Hamlin – 522; K. Kahne – 513; P. Menard – 509; R. Newman – 497; C. Bowyer – 490; A. Almirola – 473.

 

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, July 12 2015
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