Matt Kenseth started on the pole and dominated the Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. After leading four times for a race-high 148 laps, the driver of the No. 20 Toyota looked like he would be on the way to victory lane, but a late side-by-side battle with teammate Kyle Busch left Kenseth in second. Busch held onto the lead in a green-white-checkered finish to win by 0.607 seconds to take his fifth win this season. Joey Logano finished third; NXS regulars Ty Dillon and Regan Smith rounded out the top five.
“It looked like Matt [Kenseth] was just really loose that last run,” said Busch. “Chris Gayle (crew chief) did an awesome job tuning me in and getting my car really, really good that last run. I couldn’t ask for it to be any better. I think our balance overcame them and was able to put us in victory lane. Can’t say enough about everyone from Monster Energy and Toyota, this Toyota Camry was fast today. I thank the Xfinity bunch of guys to put on our show that we enjoy on Saturdays and of course the fans for coming out and supporting us too. This was a good day for us and something to kind of build off of hopefully and see what we can do tomorrow.”
Points leader Chris Buescher brought his No. 60 Ford home sixth after getting busted for speeding on pit road on lap 47.
“It was an eventful day. I’ve got a couple things I’ve got to clean up on my end,” Buescher said after the race. “The pit-road speeding penalty was not helping anything, so trying to make up that and then stalled it once leaving pit road, and those are things I’ve got to do better with.
“We were a top-five car and just had to use up a lot to try and get back up there and was not looking for that last yellow. That last restart we got a good start and got down in the corner but just got real tight behind the [No.] 3 (Dillon), so didn’t end up exactly where we wanted. I hate to just talk about points days, but it’s the best run we’ve had here at Kansas and best mile-and-a-half we’ve had in a while, so I’m glad our program is getting better there.”
Busch faced a bit of adversity on his way to the win in the form of a pit-road speeding penalty that sent him to the tail end of the field. Then, late-race contact with a piece of debris on the track from a Korbin Forrister/Jennifer Jo Cobb accident punched a hole in the front bumper of the No. 54 Toyota near the brake duct. But an extended cleanup period on the track sent drivers down pit road under the caution laps, allowing the No. 54 team the time to formulate a strategy to repair the hole.
Points leader Buescher gained a single marker over Elliott and still holds the top spot in the standings. Smith remains third, followed by Dillon. Darrell Wallace Jr., who was forced to pull out a backup car following a wreck in practice on Friday, rounds out the top five.
Elliott Sadler remains sixth, now 119 markers behind the leader. Rookie Suarez sits seventh, followed by Gaughan, who moved up one spot. Brian Scott, who ran out of fuel with just a handful of laps remaining dropped to ninth. Ryan Reed rounds out the top 10.