In what has been the norm this season, Kyle Busch once again dominated the XFINITY Series and is now the most recent winner in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions. Leading four times for 150 of 200 laps at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch scored his 80th career win by more than three seconds over teammate Erik Jones, who won this race last year (Busch wasn’t in the field while recovering from his Daytona accident). In his fourth start this season, Brad Keselowski scored his first top 5 with a third-place finish, though he never really had the speed to challenge Busch all night.
“We’ve had some really good runs here over the years and we’ve been really fast,” Busch said after he scored his record eighth XFINITY win at TMS. “This NOS Energy Drink Camry was great. We got our money’s worth out of it and Chris Gayle (crew chief) got his money’s worth out of it, too, on the pit box today. We had to make some adjustments to it and fine-tune on it to make it better and better. Real proud of the effort.”
The four JR Motorsports drivers – Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler – had a banner day, finishing 4-5-6-7 Friday night. But it didn’t come easy as Allgaier was forced to make an unscheduled green flag pit stop after complaining of a vibration. The stop put him one lap down, but a free pass under the third caution allowed him to rejoin the lead lap, where he was able to slice his way through the field to sixth.
Austin Dillon and Brandon Jones, who piloted a special Texas Rangers baseball paint scheme, finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Ryan Sieg continues to impress on a shoestring budget. Piloting his family-owned, the driver of the No. 39 Chevrolet rebounded from back-to-back finishes outside the top 25 at Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway to score his first top 10 and lead-lap result this year.
“It was great night,” Sieg told Catchfence.com. “The car kept getting better and better as the night went. The car was better on the long runs, I mean it was good on the short runs, but we really had a good long run car.
“We needed this finish pretty bad. I was pretty low. I almost got to the point where if something wasn’t going to change, I wasn’t going to come to the track anymore. This turned it around for sure. It was a team effort. We worked together.”
The mostly uneventful race was slowed just five times for 22 laps, three of which were for single-car incidents. The fifth and final caution flew on lap 145 when Jeb Burton blew a tire, collecting Blake Koch along the way. The race went green for the final 49 laps following that caution, and no one in the field had the speed to catch Busch and the No. 18 team.
Despite going a lap down when he brought out the third caution after spinning on his own, Daniel Suarez maintains the point lead by a single marker over Elliott Sadler, who finished seventh. Justin Allgaier, who rebounded from going a lap down following an unscheduled pit stop remains third, now just nine points behind the leader. Rookies Brandon Jones and Erik Jones, who jumped two spots on the strength of a runner-up finish round out the top 5.
Ty Dillon, who ran inside the top 5 for a good portion of the night, suffered a tire going down late in the race and finished 13th, enough to drop him to sixth in the standings. Brendan Gaughan, who has been dominant at Texas in the past in the Camping World Truck Series, barely cracked the top 10 in the late stages of the race before settling into a 12th-place finish, dropping him one spot in the standings. Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ryan Reed and Brennan Poole round out the top 10.
The XFINITY Series returns to action next Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 200, which marks the first of four Dash 4 Cash events where heat races will be used ahead of the main event, will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.
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