NASCAR

NXS: Busch Wins Food City 300, Second Perfect Race of Weekend

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kyle Busch didn’t give them a chance. He dominated nearly all of the first stage, and when he was struck with a speeding penalty at the end of stage one he methodically drove through the field until he was the leader 57 green flag laps later – he won stage two and then the race.

No one passed Busch beyond ten laps into a green flag run, quite simply he was untouchable.

“Great car, all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing did a phenomenal job,” Busch said standing along the start/finish line after winning the Food City 300. †”I just appreciate all the fans but more importantly all the fans wearing the 18, appreciate you.”

The ninety-first NASCAR Xfinity Series win for Busch was also his†ninth victory in the series on Bristol Motor Speedway’s half-mile of concrete.

Earlier in the summer Busch stated he’d be done with the NXS once he reaches 100 wins. In victory lane he was asked if that race was on, “I know for all the fans it is,” said Busch with a smile.

One of the few drivers who appeared to have a chance at beating the 2015 Monster Energy Cup Series champion, Friday night was Justin Allgaier; however, on the final restart his car “didn’t take off like it had” throughout the 300 lap event.

Among on track incidents three mishaps stuck out.

On lap 26 Aric Almirola, Ryan Reed and Spencer Gallagher ran out of real-estate — all three crashed, leading to an early night for Almirola and Reed. It wasn’t immediately clear who created the accident but Almirola had strong feelings about the ordeal.

“I got wrecked. The 4 car (Ross Chastain) just flat ran over me,” said Almirola. “I had just passed him two laps before that and drove away from him and then he caught the 5 (Michael Annett) car and the 5 car locked up his left-front tire and I checked up for him and the 4 car just ran me over.”

William Byron was looking to finish a quiet night with a top-ten before he suffered a cut left-front on the final restart. Photo by Jonathan McCoy.

The second and third interesting incidents were between Jeb Burton and Brendan Gaughan. The pair of young and old drivers were battling, trying in vain to stay on the lead lap. Gaughan was rim riding the progressive banking with Burton tucked underneath. As the battle was warming up Burton got into Gaughan’s left-rear quarter panel, a few laps later Gaughan was forced to come to pit road for a flat tire.

Later, with fifteen laps left, the same thing happened but Burton’s slip up was more drastic, he slapped the outside-retaining wall and cut Gaughan’s left-rear tire again to send him for a backwards spin into the wall. Not only was it two incidents in one race, Gaughan looks at as three because he takes into account an issue the two NXS regulars had last weekend at Mid-Ohio Raceway.

Following the conclusion of the Food City 300, Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted himself to the infield care center for dehydration and hand cramps, the news was broke by JR. Motorsports through a tweet. The driver, in his final year of full time competition struck the turn to wall a little beyond the midway point of the race and was never a factor from that point on.

Next weekend, an off weekend for the MENCS, the NXS will head north to Wisconsin’s Road America.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
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