Kyle Busch Sweeps Bristol Weekend With Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Winby Hunter Thomas August 19, 2017
BRISTOL, Tenn. – After winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Wednesday and the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday, Kyle Busch completed the sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday by taking the checkered flag in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race.
The remarkable win is Busch’s 40th in the Cup Series career; however, it’s only his second of the 2017 season. Throughout the 500-lap event, Busch, the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota led 156 laps. As the laps ticked away, Busch was able to get around Erik Jones and lead the final 56 laps.
“Man, Erik Jones put up a whale of a fight,” Busch said. “That all I had. I was running with my tongue hanging. My arms were jello and my throat hurts, but man that’s awesome. Can’t say enough about everybody on my Joe Gibbs Racing team. Adam Stevens (crew chief) and the guys are phenomenal. Car might not have been perfect, but I’m never perfect. I never feel like we’re perfect, but this Caramel Camry was fast. So proud of these guys, so proud of my team, so proud of Joe Gibbs Racing. So proud of Rowdy Nation, this one’s for you.”
Erik Jones who sat on the Coors Light Pole, gave it his all as he tried to chase down Busch. While navigating through heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps, Jones had Busch in his sights, but in the end, he wasn’t able to catch him and had to settle for a runner-up finish. Jones led a race high of 260 laps, and he was the highest finishing rookie in the event.
“It’s a bummer, I mean you can’t lie,” Jones said. “I thought we had a really good day and we fought hard all day. We had our ups and downs and led a lot of laps and didn’t have quite enough at the end. Kyle (Busch) is really good here. But we had a good 5-Hour Energy Camry. Just needed a little more at the end. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t have it. I did what I could, but it just wasn’t quite enough.”
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth finished third and fourth respectively, while Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 was Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney.
During the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, there were 21 lead changes among six drivers. There were also eight cautions for 53 laps. Only four of the cautions throughout the race involved multiple cars.
The first multicar accident came out on lap 233, when Austin Dillon spun in Turn 4 and collected Jeffrey Earnhardt who had nowhere to go. Kahne also hit the wall while trying to avoid the accident as well.
“I don’t know what happened if we had contact on that restart or our trackbar broke,” Dillon said. “My car chief said the letters on the Goodyear were rubbed off and about two laps later we broke. I was just moving forward. I passed like four cars and then it busted a tire. It never works out when you break when you are running bad, but we were running good and it broke. Bummer, our battery was going dead too so it probably wasn’t going to be much longer we were going to be out of the race either way, but just a bummer I really love this track and was having a blast tonight. It sucks it had to end this way.”
Ty Dillon and Trevor Bayne hit the wall in Turn 2 to bring out the caution on lap 355.
On lap 397, Chase Elliott spun and slammed the inside wall on the frontstretch. The crash began after Elliott and Kevin Harvick made contact exiting Turn 4.
The final accident of the night came out on lap 417, when Matt DiBenedetto got into the back of Landon Cassill, who then hit the inside wall on the frontstretch and ricocheted to pound the outside wall in Turn 1.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take this upcoming weekend off, but will return to action on Sunday, September 3 for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Live coverage of the prestigious event will broadcast on the NBC Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 6 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Tyler Goodson/TheFourthTurn.com