Kyle Busch Wins In New Hampshire Following Brad Keselowski’s Mishap On Pit Roadby Camille Jones July 16, 2017
LOUDON, N.H.– Kyle Busch won Saturday afternoon’s Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after Brad Keselowski had issues on pit road.
Busch drove his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Rowdy Toyota to his 89th win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He led 77 of 200 laps and lapped all but five cars on his way to victory. Busch now holds 175 NASCAR national series victories. The 32-year-old driver acknowledged the strength of his success in each national series of NASCAR while in Victory Lane on Saturday.
“I know a lot of those are the minors, so I’ll take them where I can get them as of right now,” said Busch. “But certainly there’s going to be a lot more wins to be had on Sundays as well too. I’ve got a long road ahead of me probably and, you know, it just seems like we’ve had a lot of bad luck on that side of this year and I don’t know, maybe it’s turning around somewhat, but we saw that today we had luck on our side, so thank the racing Gods for that one and allowing us to be here.”
Throughout the first half of the race, Brad Keselowski had the dominate car; however, on with just 30 laps to go, Keselowski was issued a stop and go penalty for removing equipment from assigned pit area. When Keselowski took off from his pit stop, he took the gas can with him. Up until that point, Busch believed that he had a second-place car. Busch said that the mishap on pit road for the Team Penske No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team was a “game changer”.
“It was a huge difference,” Busch said. “That was a game changer, you know? A day changer for us, for them and for everybody, so, you know, but I want to give thanks to my guys and everyone on this NOS Energy Drink team, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, Eric Phillips (crew chief), my guys – they work real hard and they do a great job and we were right there. We were close, but we were a second-place car today and yet it all takes teamwork and my guys they came together on pit road when it mattered most right there at the end and gave me a fast pit stop. We got out front. I think we kind of coaxed those guys into having to rush themselves and hurry a little bit and maybe we put the pressure and that was the difference was today, so great day for us and excited to have the opportunity to be in victory lane again here in New Hampshire.”
Ryan Preece stunned the competition with his second-place finish while driving the No. 20 MoHawk Northeast Inc. Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Preece’s start on Saturday was his first in the series this season. He has made 37 career starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series over four seasons. His second-place finish on Saturday was his career-best finish in the series. The excitement of his strong run in Saturday’s race was a big moment for the young driver.
“Something I dreamed about to be honest with you,” Preece said. “I didn’t know how today was going to go. Got a limited about of time in practice, qualified sixth, was a little disappointed in myself, but I told Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) before the race started I usually get better in the race, so obviously he made a great call there to get two tires instead of four, but, man, this one is for all the short track guys out there that might not ever get the opportunity, but I work hard week in and week out with that modified, so to be able to have this opportunity to me.”
William Byron snagged a third-place finish in his first start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Byron was the highest finishing rookie in the event.
Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski completed the top-five, while Ben Kennedy, Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon, Cole Custer and Brennan Poole rounded out the top-10 in the finishing order.
Larson won Stage 1 in the event, and Keselowski, who led the most laps of the event by holding onto the top spot for 102 laps on Saturday, won Stage 2.
There was only one caution involving a car on the track, when the No. 99 of David Starr hit the wall on lap 31.
Elliott Sadler leads the NASCAR XFINITY Series points standings by 45 points over teammate William Byron. Fellow JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier holds the third position in the points standings.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway next weekend for the Lilly Diabetes 250. Race coverage will be found on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and IMS Radio Network on Saturday, July 22 on 3:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images