Kyle Busch Wrestles Away A Hot Victory In Joliet

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 1 2018

Kyle Busch used final-lap heroics to win Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. (RacinToday/HHP fiel photo by Garry Eller)


The final lap in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in Joliet was as hot as the triple-digit temperatures that had settled in over the northeastern Illinois countryside.

Kyle Busch issued a payback bump to the rear of Kyle Larson’s car with two turns to go on the final lap and went on to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Larson, who had pushed Busch into the outside wall and out of the lead a turn earlier on that final lap, finished second, 1.8 seconds behind.

Busch, driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, described the wild final lap by saying, “Larson tried to pull a slider (slide job) and didn’t quite complete it and slid up me and used me and then I kind of used him a little bit in (Turn 3) and was able to come back for the victory.”

After exiting his car, Busch was booed by the fans in Joliet as he was being interviewed on television on the track.

His response was, “I don’t know what you all are whining about but if you don’t like that kind of racing, don’t even watch.”

Larson was considerably less hostile toward Busch than the fans.

“Oh man, I’m not upset,” the Chip Ganassi Racing driver said. “I had an opportunity there to slide in front of him and I figured I wouldn’t clear him or I would allow him to drive back underneath me. So I got to his door and I opened the door for him to retaliate in (Turn) 3.

“I ran into him first. He got me after that. He got me worse that I got him but that’s all right.”

Kevin Harvick finished third, Martin Truex Jr. fourth and Clint Bowyer fifth.

Harvick had the lead when the cars headed into the pits during a caution with about 60 laps to go. But Busch had the better stop and had the lead when the race restarted with 55 laps to go.

He began gradually widening his gap on Harvick and with 20 laps to go, Busch’s lead was 1.5 seconds.

“We just got way too tight that last run,” Harvick, who led 39 laps, said.

However, at that point, the developing challenge was by third-place Larson who was running much faster laps.

Larson, running high on the track, soon passed Harvick for second place and with 12 laps to go, had moved to within .5 seconds of the lead.

With eight laps to go, Larson’s strategy to run against the outside wall on turns 3 and 4 bit him as he swiped the SAFER barrier. Busch took advantage and stretched his led to over a second.

With three laps to go, Busch and Larson ran into heavy traffic and the lead shrunk to four car lengths.

“If it wasn’t for lapped traffic” during the late laps, “it wouldn’t have even been a race,” Busch said.

On the final lap, Larson moved low on Busch in turns 1 and 2. Coming out of 2, Larson moved up into the right side Busch’s car, which wiggled and skimmed the wall but straightened and that gave Larson the lead.

In Turn 3, Busch issued a payback by slamming Larson’s rear bumper. Busch clipped the outside wall but kept going. Larson lost control, went sideways and Busch blew past for the lead and the victory.

“When you start banging doors on one another,” Busch said as fans continued to boo well after the finish, “that’s what it turns the race into and its fair game after that.”

(This story will be updated shortly)


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – Overton’s 400

Chicagoland Speedway

Joliet, Illinois

Sunday, July 1, 2018

  1. (16) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.
  2. (18) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267.
  3. (11) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.
  4. (36) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.
  5. (5) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 267.
  6. (9) Erik Jones, Toyota, 267.
  7. (37) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267.
  8. (12) Joey Logano, Ford, 267.
  9. (7) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.
  10. (15) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 267.
  11. (10) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 267.
  12. (13) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 267.
  13. (1) Paul Menard, Ford, 267.
  14. (38) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267.
  15. (17) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267.
  16. (20) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 266.
  17. (4) Kurt Busch, Ford, 266.
  18. (2) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 266.
  19. (3) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 266.
  20. (8) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 266.
  21. (26) Michael McDowell, Ford, 266.
  22. (39) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 266.
  23. (22) Bubba Wallace #, Chevrolet, 266.
  24. (19) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 266.
  25. (6) Aric Almirola, Ford, 266.
  26. (21) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 265.
  27. (24) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 264.
  28. (25) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 264.
  29. (28) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 262.
  30. (27) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 261.
  31. (29) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 260.
  32. (34) * Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 259.
  33. (30) * Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 255.
  34. (32) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 233.
  35. (33) BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 227.
  36. (31) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 224.
  37. (14) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, Wheel Hub, 189.
  38. (23) David Ragan, Ford, 189.
  39. (35) * Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Oil Cooler, 185.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  140.636 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 50 Mins, 52 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.875 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  5 for 23 laps.

Lead Changes:  24 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:    0; R. Blaney 1-16; C. Bowyer 17; R. Blaney 18; C. Bowyer 19-38; B. Keselowski 39-46; A. Dillon 47-59; A. Almirola 60-86; K. Harvick 87; A. Almirola 88-122; K. Harvick 123-128; A. Almirola 129; R. Newman 130-132; R. Blaney 133-134; A. Almirola 135-141; Kurt Busch 142-159; K. Harvick 160-162; K. Larson 163; K. Harvick 164-167; Kurt Busch 168-169; K. Larson 170-175; K. Harvick 176-177; B. Keselowski 178-185; K. Harvick 186-208; Kyle Busch 209-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  A. Almirola 4 times for 70 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 59 laps; K. Harvick 6 times for 39 laps; C. Bowyer 2 times for 21 laps; Kurt Busch 2 times for 20 laps; R. Blaney 3 times for 19 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 16 laps; A. Dillon 1 time for 13 laps; K. Larson 2 times for 7 laps; R. Newman 1 time for 3 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 10,42,78,41,4,2,12,22,9,20

Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,41,42,78,12,2,9,14,11,22

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, July 1 2018
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