Kyle Busch finally wins for first time in 2018

Speedcafe.com

Monday 9th April, 2018 - 12:36pm

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Kyle Busch leads Kevin Harvick

Kyle Busch has edged Kevin Harvick to victory in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race win this year after three runner-up finishes already.

The driver of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota had four separate spells in the race lead, including at the end of Stage 2, and moved his way back to the front after dropping a bunch of places at the start of the final stage.

Kyle Busch then held his nerve with the luckless Harvick well and truly in his mirrors to take out the race by 0.300s.

Harvick dominated Stage 1 but lost the lead in the pit stops which preceded Stage 2.

He regained first position on Lap 117 only to lose eight positions under a Caution period pit stop which followed shortly after when a stray lugnut caused his jack to get stuck.

Harvick lost a lap when he pitted reporting a loose wheel on the #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford on Lap 137, but clawed his way back to second position with 55 laps to run.

But for another pit stop cycle, that was where the three-time race winner of the season to date remained until the chequered flag on Lap 334.

Jamie McMurray (#1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) and Erik Jones (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) both achieved season-high results in third and fourth respectively.

Ryan Blaney overcame a drive-through for an uncontrolled tyre in the pits and an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel to bring the #12 Team Penske Ford home in fifth.

He was followed by team-mate Joey Logano (#22 Ford), pole-sitter Kurt Busch (#41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Darrell Wallace Jnr (#43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet), and Clint Bowyer (#14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford).

William Byron (#24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) was a career-best 10th.

A seven-car crash, caused when Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) stepped sideways and tagged Aric Almirola (#10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) on Lap 177, also accounted for Brad Keselowski (#2 Team Penske Ford) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet).

Defending series champion Martin Truex Jnr went out on Lap 80 when a right-front tyre failure caused his #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota to slap the wall.

Kyle Busch’s win extends his series lead ahead of Round 8, the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, this coming weekend (April 13-15 local time).

Race highlights

Results: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, Texas Motor Speedway

Pos Num Driver Make Laps Led Status
1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 334 116 Running
2 4 Kevin Harvick Ford 334 87 Running
3 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 334 0 Running
4 20 Erik Jones Toyota 334 64 Running
5 12 Ryan Blaney Ford 334 0 Running
6 22 Joey Logano Ford 334 0 Running
7 41 Kurt Busch Ford 334 40 Running
8 43 Darrell Wallace Jnr Chevrolet 334 0 Running
9 14 Clint Bowyer Ford 334 0 Running
10 24 William Byron Chevrolet 334 1 Running
11 9 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 333 4 Running
12 6 Trevor Bayne Ford 333 0 Running
13 13 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 332 0 Running
14 34 Michael McDowell Ford 332 0 Running
15 37 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 331 0 Running
16 32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 329 0 Running
17 95 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 328 0 Running
18 15 Ross Chastain Chevrolet 325 0 Running
19 72 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 324 0 Running
20 23 Gray Gaulding Toyota 322 0 Running
21 00 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 321 0 Running
22 51 Harrison Rhodes Chevrolet 319 0 Running
23 38 David Ragan Ford 317 0 Running
24 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 316 0 Engine
25 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr Ford 315 10 Suspension
26 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 304 0 Running
27 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 303 0 Crash
28 88 Alex Bowman Chevrolet 294 0 Running
29 19 Daniel Suarez Toyota 290 0 Running
30 21 Paul Menard Ford 215 0 Crash
31 55 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 209 0 Overheating
32 10 Aric Almirola Ford 178 0 Crash
33 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 178 0 Crash
34 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 177 12 Crash
35 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 175 0 Crash
36 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 126 0 Crash
37 78 Martin Truex Jnr Toyota 80 0 Crash

Standings Updated*

Pos Driver Pts Gap Starts Wins Pl’off pts
1 Kyle Busch 316 7 1 7
2 Joey Logano 278 -38 7 0 0
3 Ryan Blaney 265 -51 7 0 2
4 Kevin Harvick 257 -59 7 3 12
5 Martin Truex Jnr 250 -66 7 1 7
6 Clint Bowyer 249 -67 7 1 5
7 Brad Keselowski 237 -79 7 0 1
8 Kurt Busch 224 -92 7 0 2
9 Denny Hamlin 222 -94 7 0 1
10 Kyle Larson 202 -114 7 0 0
11 Erik Jones 193 -123 7 0 0
12 Aric Almirola 177 -139 7 0 0
13 Austin Dillon 159 -157 7 1 5
14 Alex Bowman 154 -162 7 0 0
15 Paul Menard 146 -170 7 0 0
16 Ryan Newman 145 -171 7 0 0
17 William Byron 135 -181 7 0 0
18 Chase Elliott 128 -188 7 0 0
19 Darrell Wallace Jnr 126 -190 7 0 0
20 AJ Allmendinger 123 -193 7 0 0
21 Jimmie Johnson 123 -193 7 0 0
22 Ricky Stenhouse Jnr 123 -193 7 0 0
23 Jamie McMurray 122 -194 7 0 0
24 Chris Buescher 118 -198 7 0 0
25 Michael McDowell 114 -202 7 0 0
26 Daniel Suarez 108 -208 7 0 0
27 Kasey Kahne 98 -218 7 0 0
28 Trevor Bayne 97 -219 7 0 0
29 David Ragan 92 -224 7 0 0
30 Ty Dillon 86 -230 7 0 0
31 Matt DiBenedetto 75 -241 7 0 0
32 Cole Whitt 55 -261 5 0 0
33 Gray Gaulding 48 -268 7 0 0
34 Jeffrey Earnhardt 28 -288 5 0 0
35 DJ Kennington 28 -288 3 0 0
36 Harrison Rhodes 21 -295 3 0 0
37 Landon Cassill 17 -299 2 0 0
38 Mark Thompson 15 -301 1 0 0
39 Brendan Gaughan 9 -307 1 0 0
40 Reed Sorenson 9 -307 2 0 0
41 Danica Patrick 2 -314 1 0 0
42 Corey LaJoie 2 -314 2 0 0
43 Justin Marks 0 -316 1 0 0
44 David Gilliland 0 -316 1 0 0
45 Ross Chastain 0 -316 6 0 0
46 Cole Custer 0 -316 1 0 0
47 JJ Yeley 0 -316 1 0 0
48 Joey Gase 0 -316 1 0 0
49 Timmy Hill 0 -316 2 0 0

* Car #9 (Chase Elliott) penalised 20pts for technical breach

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