Kyle Busch’s Feelings About Kansas Improve Even More

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 2 2021

Kyle Busch got his first victory of the season Sunday. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

Several years ago, Kyle Busch was approached by a reporter and was asked about Kansas Speedway. Worst track on the schedule, Busch said.

That answer was hardly surprising as the question was asked as Busch was just emerging from the infield care center at the Kansas City, Kan. track – a place he was taken after having crashed out for the third consecutive race and the fourth time in 13 starts at the 1.5-mile oval.

In addition he had zero top-five finishes and just two top-10s during that run.

But beginning in 2014, Busch has been pretty darn stout at Kansas. He won there in 2016 and has eight top-fives in his last 12 races there.

Make that nine top-five finishes and two victories.

Busch held off the field after a restart with three laps to go and went on to win the Buschy McBusch Race 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.

The victory came on his 36th birthday and gave him a second win on the weekend as he also won Saturday’s NASCAR Truck Series event at Kansas.

It gives him a Cup victory for the 17th season in a row.

“Just a great day,” Busch said, adding that it was a rare great day for him considering how the 2020 season ended and 2021 started.

“You talk about the ups and downs of racing, it’s been a lot of downs for us,” the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and two-time Cup champ said. 

Yes, Busch said, the tough times of a year ago and then several bad finishes this year caused him to wonder if he “could still do it”. 

“There’s a sense of doubt there, for sure,” the birthday boy said. “You just got to keep perservereing, keep digging and putting your focus forward.

“You just got to keep perservereing, keep digging and putting your focus forward.”

The win comes in the 11th race of the season while a year ago, Busch didn’t win until the 34th event of the season.

Busch led 20 laps Sunday in getting his second win at the 1.5-mile Kansas oval.

“I just remembered. The Buschy McBusch race and a Busch won it. What do you know,” he said.

Finishing second was Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing, who was also looking for his first win of 2021. The margin of victory was .336 seconds.

Havick said his car “was on and off here today,” Harvick said after getting his best finish of the season. They did a good job of adjusting it and had the right strategy there at the end to have better tires than everybody else. It got pretty aggressive there at the end and we were able to come up with a good finish.”

Third was Brad Keselowski of Team Penske, who started from the pole and led the first 64 laps and 73 in total.

“We weren’t quite as fast as we wanted to be,” Keselowski, who was also on fresher tires than was Busch and was coming off a win a week ago at Talladega, said. “The Gibbs cars were real fast and Kyle Larson was screaming fast. We were kind of right there on the edge the top five. But we almost stole one there with pitting.”

Matt DiBenedetto of the Wood Brothers Racing team was fourth. Rounding out the top five was defending series champion Chase Elliott.

Kyle Larson appeared to be steaming toward his second victory of the season but a series of late-race cautions and a decision to not pit for tires during those cautions cost him his shot.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver led 132 of the 267 laps and held big leads for much of the final two stages.

He restarted with the lead with 10 laps to go but quickly was dropped back to third, where he restarted after the final caution. He ran into trouble on the final laps and wound up 19th.

Denny Hamlin appeared to have a great shot at depriving Larson of the win when he took the lead on a restart with 32 laps to go. But with 25 to go, he brushed the wall, blew a tire and hit the wall again as his chance to get his first win of the season ended.

The racing moves to Darlington, S.C. next weekend.


NASCAR Cup Series Race – 2nd Annual Buschy McBusch Race 400

Kansas Speedway

Kansas City, Kansas

Sunday, May 2, 2021

  1. (9)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.
  2. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.
  3. (1)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.
  4. (5)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 267.
  5. (17)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 267.
  6. (15)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.
  7. (11)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 267.
  8. (16)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 267.
  9. (2)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 267.
  10. (6)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 267.
  11. (21)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 267.
  12. (20)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267.
  13. (3)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 267.
  14. (24)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 267.
  15. (28)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267.
  16. (14)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 267.
  17. (29)  Joey Logano, Ford, 267.
  18. (25)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 267.
  19. (32)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267.
  20. (19)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 267.
  21. (7)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267.
  22. (38)  Austin Cindric(i), Ford, 267.
  23. (22)  Anthony Alfredo #, Ford, 266.
  24. (10)  Cole Custer, Ford, 266.
  25. (27)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 266.
  26. (13)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 266.
  27. (26)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 265.
  28. (8)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 265.
  29. (18)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 264.
  30. (31)  Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, 263.
  31. (30)  BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 260.
  32. (12)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, Accident, 259.
  33. (36)  Garrett Smithley(i), Chevrolet, 259.
  34. (23)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 258.
  35. (35)  Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 258.
  36. (33)  Cody Ware(i), Chevrolet, 257.
  37. (34)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, 256.
  38. (39)  Matt Mills(i), Ford, 255.
  39. (37)  Josh Bilicki, Ford, 250.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  129.647 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 5 Mins, 21 Secs. Margin of Victory:  .336 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 36 laps.

Lead Changes:  18 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   B. Keselowski 1-63;K. Larson 64;B. Keselowski 65-73;K. Larson 74-76;K. Busch 77-83;K. Larson 84-121;R. Stenhouse Jr. 122-144;K. Larson 145-162;K. Busch 163;K. Larson 164-167;K. Busch 168;K. Larson 169-212;C. Buescher 213-225;K. Larson 226-230;D. Hamlin 231;K. Larson 232-236;D. Hamlin 237-242;K. Larson 243-256;K. Busch 257-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Kyle Larson 9 times for 132 laps; Brad Keselowski 2 times for 72 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 23 laps; Kyle Busch 4 times for 20 laps; Chris Buescher 1 time for 13 laps; Denny Hamlin 2 times for 7 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 18,5,8,2,24,9,4,12,11,20

Stage #2 Top Ten: 5,18,11,2,9,12,19,8,20,


| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 2 2021
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