It was the Kyle Busch show once again in the Xfinity Series. Leading a race-high 94 laps, Busch, in his No. 54 Toyota Supra, won the first two stages with ease, bounced back from a speeding penalty in the final stage, and made a bold pass on Austin Cindric on the final lap to claim the victory in the Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch’s career in Xfinity began at the same racetrack as an 18-year-old in 2003. He led 33 laps and finished an impressive second that day. 97 wins and one series championship later, this kind of performance allowed Busch to once again solidify his G.O.A.T. status in NASCAR’s second-tier series.
While Busch made his pass on Cindric in turns 3 and 4, Daniel Hemric capitalized on Cindric’s slowing momentum, passing him to take second place across the line.
Busch somehow always finds a way to make an appearance at the front in time for a thrilling finish. Last Thursday at Darlington Raceway, Busch was on the losing end of the battle for the win against Chase Briscoe. But Monday night, it worked out the other way around for him. He increased his all-time series wins record to 97, as well as the wins total for him at Charlotte Motor Speedway across the three NASCAR national touring series to 18.
Hemric is patiently climbing back up the mountain towards NASCAR greatness in 2020. Although he may feel the stinging effects of earning the sixth runner-up finish of his Xfinity career, results like this are what will keep Hemric’s name floating around the garage area. And this result comes with a bit more significance, as Charlotte is essentially Hemric’s home track, being a native of nearby Kannapolis, N.C.
Although the upper groove of Charlotte Motor Speedway was coated with a grip-increasing PJ1 solution, pit road proved to be anything but grippy and stable. Many penalties were given to several drivers on a round of green-flag pit stops during the final stage. Hemric was penalized for an uncontrolled tire violation, while drivers such as Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, Briscoe and eventual race winner Busch were given speeding penalties for failing to slow down in time before pit entry. Goes to show that making a green-flag pit stop at this racetrack is no easy task.
By far the ugliest sight of all was the frequent appearance of the yellow flag, which flew 11 times Monday night. Aside from the two stage breaks, the yellow flag remained mostly in the flagstand for the first three quarters of the race. Then after Timmy Hill’s blown engine on lap 155, the field was struck with yellow fever. Six additional cautions occurred in the final 45 laps due to accidents, with the most violent one coming on lap 198, involving five cars.
Huge trouble in Charlotte! pic.twitter.com/31VgPAk6P5— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 26, 2020
What seemed to be an easy-going, placid night at Charlotte turned out to be an expensive one for many teams whose cars fell victim to crashes.
Not even a month ago, Brett Moffitt was still recuperating from leg injuries suffered in a motocross accident in early March. Tonight, he was able to use pit strategy and avoided wrecks to bring his No. 02 Chevrolet Camaro to a sixth-place finish, a career-best finish for both he and the newly-formed Our Motorsports team. Brandon Brown also recorded his first ever top-10 finish on a non-superspeedway track, with an eighth-place finish in his No. 68 Brandonbilt Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
Honorable mention in this category goes to Tommy Joe Martins, who came close to nabbing his first ever top-10 finish, lining up 11th for the second-to-last restart. Instead, his No. 44 Chevrolet Camaro took a pounding into the inside wall on the backstretch in a multi-car wreck on lap 198. Fortunately he was not injured, but his underdog run was spoiled.
“Those guys put up a whale of a fight toinght on restarts. I was really surprised by that, I guess I’m not very good at it anymore… Pretty cool to score a win here at Charlotte as always.” – Kyle Busch, race winner
“To almost beat the best in the business on old tires, ah!… I never lifted into [turn] 3, until I knew I was done.” – Austin Cindric
Lowest I’ve ever been. 2 laps away from my first ever NASCAR top 10 with a guaranteed top12 & we wind up 5 laps down in 24th, totaling our best car, probably a 75k wreck. Feels like it’s just never gonna happen for me.— Tommy Joe Martins (@TommyJoeMartins) May 26, 2020
Thanks for all the texts & messages.
The Xfinity Series will head over to east Tennessee for the running of the Cheddar’s 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 30, the second short-track race of the 2020 season. Green flag is set for 3:30 p.m. ET, and the event will be televised on FOX Sports 1.