Kyle Busch dominates for ninth Xfinity win
Kansas City, Kan. — Kyle Busch continued his dominance of the Xfinity Series at Kansas Speedway on Saturday.
Elliott Sadler and Daniel Suarez continued their chase for a title.
Pulling double-duty this weekend, Busch led 150 of the 200 laps in a thoroughly dominant performance for his ninth series win of the season. It was also his third straight Xfinity win at Kansas, where he won in his Sprint Cup car for the first time this spring.
“There were a lot of things trying to work against us toward the end, but we just persevered,” said Busch, who at one point was a lap down. “We had great speed. I think we showed it all weekend. It was just a matter of putting it all together and ending up in victory lane, where we deserved to be.”
Sadler finished second and Suarez finished third to give the Chase contenders a nice start to the three-race round of eight, which now takes a two-week break before continuing at Texas.
“Everyone is starting off square,” Sadler said, “so you’re trying to get a point here and get a point there. Now everybody will have different strategies as we go to Texas and Phoenix.”
Two more Sprint Cup regulars, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson, waged an entertaining duel to round out the top five. But it was some drama around them in the closing laps that shook up the title chase.
Justin Allgaier and Darrell Wallace Jr. were involved in a late wreck, though Allgaier’s partially destroyed car was able to finish a lap down in 14th. Wallace wound up 33rd and now has a massive deficit to make up the next two races if he wants to avoid elimination.
“Pretty hard hit. Just unfortunate,” said Wallace, who was blinking away some pain when he took off his helmet. “We were making some good calls and running our own race and that’s part of it.
“I think we could have gotten a top-10 if we hit our restarts right, but just not our day.”
Nor was it Brendan Gaughan’s day. He went slip-sliding through the grass on the front stretch late in the race and wound up 31st — though he did provide some comic relief when he sprinted from the infield care center back to his car in an attempt to squeeze a few more laps in before the finish.
It wound up having no bearing on his result.
Erik Jones (Swartz Creek, Michigan) also had a gripe after spending most of the day near the front. He was hit from behind by Larson on a late restart, sending him into Ty Dillon and causing enough damage to force a costly pit stop.
Jones ended finishing 15th, fifth among the eight drivers competing for a championship.
“It’s all my fault,” Larson told his spotter after the impact.
Blake Koch finished ninth in a strong start to the round for his championship hopes, while Ryan Reed dealt with a series of problems all afternoon and finished behind Allgaier and Jones in 16th.
Now, they’ll all be chasing Sadler and Suarez over the next two races.
“We had a great race. So proud of my team,” Sadler said. “We kept working on the car, working on the car, getting better and better. I just have to do a better job of out-running that 18 car.”