NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kyle Busch Scores Perfect Driver Rating in Dominating Performance at New Hampshire

Kyle Busch chalked up another victory in the XFINITY Series, leading 190 of 200 laps Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In the process he scored a perfect driver rating, the first time a driver has done so in the XFINITY Series this season.

In 10 races this season, Busch has six victories, and has finished in the top 10 in every race. In 11 starts at New Hampshire, he has now been victorious a record five times.

“We just had a really good car,” Busch said of his victory. “We unloaded good off the truck this weekend. We came here with a brand new setup and it was really good for us. It kind of changed the aspect of being able to have a really good car and getting a car to drive over the course of this flat track.

Busch was passed just one time under green flag conditions by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones. The No. 20 spent the majority of the 200 miles in the runner-up position, which is where he finished.

“Those late restarts were to our advantage being able to restart where I wanted to,” Busch said. “Choosing the outside seemed to be the preferred lane and getting a good launch off Turn 2 down the backstretch to get single-file with my teammate Erik Jones. Erik ran a great race as he’s in really good equipment too. We all know how good he is and it was going to be tough to beat him on just two tires, but track position was everything.”

There was a series of late race cautions that made Busch work for the victory. With 33 laps to go, all lead lap cars pitted, but the No. 18 took only two tires. Jones and other top competitors took four, giving them the advantage.

Jones kept Busch on his toes in the remaining laps, until the lapped car of Ryan Preece got in the racing groove in front of the No. 20 Toyota, costing him a second to the No. 18 car.

With the second-place effort, Jones was the first driver to officially clinch a spot in the Chase.

Brad Keselowski finished where he started in third. It’s his eighth top 10-finish in eight races at New Hampshire.

The third Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Daniel Suarez, finished fourth and Austin Dillon rounded out the top five.

Brennan Poole posted another top-10 finish coming home sixth. Justin Allgaier was seventh, Alex Bowman eighth, Brendan Gaughan ninth and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top 10.

Darrell Wallace, Jr. finished 12th after spinning with on a Lap 27 restart racing for a top-five position.

The biggest incident of the day came on Lap 77 when Bowman got into Ty Dillon, sending his Chevrolet to the garage.

Next week the XFINITY Series tackles Indianapolis where Busch swept the weekend in 2015.

 

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