NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kyle Busch Wins Rain-Delayed 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Race at Texas

After a 72-hour rain and mist delay, Kyle Busch came back from the dead, so to speak, to win the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway Wednesday night (Oct. 28).

Though he was close on fuel, Busch saved as much as he could and held on to continue his yearly race-winning streak.

”I kept getting great leadership and mentoring from Adam [Stevens] and from Tony [Hirschman],” Busch told the NBC Sports broadcast after the race. “And those guys just keep talking to me, keep reminding me about saving and being able to do what I could, trying to stay in the draft as much as I could on the straightaways.

“It ran out coming right in here to do a burnout, so I had enough to do a little bit of a burnout, I don’t know if I’ll make it back. I can’t say enough about Adam Stevens and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing, I appreciate all your hard work.”

His JGR teammate Martin Truex Jr. was closing in but couldn’t come near enough and finished second. Christopher Bell was third, Ryan Blaney was fourth and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five finishers.

The race began full of mist on Sunday, which caused several cars to lose the groove, many of them hitting the wall. These included Denny Hamlin and then-leader Kevin Harvick, with Harvick incurring the most damage. Several laps later, the caution came out for inclement weather.

After a round of pit stops under this caution, the race was red-flagged, and though NASCAR made several attempts to dry the track, the mist and light rain proved too much for Monday and Tuesday. After what felt like an eternity, the race finally resumed on Wednesday evening.

Soon after the race went back to green, Hamlin ran into the back of Matt Kenseth, who spun down and tagged Bubba Wallace in the right front. Wallace then spun back up the track and made slight contact with Aric Almirola before hitting the wall hard. After waiting over 72 hours to return to racing, Kenseth’s and Wallace’s days were done.

Aside from that, there were only three other total cautions due to wrecks, as well as one debris caution.

There was an unfortunate ending for one driver. Jimmie Johnson’s final Cup race at Texas came to an early end when his engine expired. He finished back in 36th place.

Much of Wednesday comprised of varying fuel strategies. While Clint Bowyer pitted on lap 256 (due to running out of fuel), Busch waited until lap 268. Many others came down within the next 10 laps or so, including Truex. Crew chief Adam Stevens knew he needed to coach Busch as best as he could to keep saving fuel throughout the long green flag run.

Stevens even told the No. 18 wheelman to allow Bowyer to go by, because he knew the No. 14 was very short on fuel. He was right – Bowyer had to pit with about 23 laps left.

But closing in ever so closely were Truex and Bell, though Bell started falling back in the final 10 laps. It was a race against fuel mileage and his own cohort, but in the end, Busch ended a 33-race winless streak. It was his fourth trophy at No Limits Texas and 57th career Cup win.

Full Cup Results from Texas

Three spots in the Championship 4 are still up for grabs when the Series heads to Martinsville Speedway next week. Harvick is 42 points above the cutline, Hamlin (who finished ninth) is 27 and Brad Keselowski’s sixth place helped keep him 25 points above the bubble. Truex and Kurt Busch are likely in a must-win situation at Martinsville.

The Xfinity 500 is set to air on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC and MRN radio.

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About Joy Tomlinson

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5 comments

  1. Avatar

    Way to go, KFB!

  2. Avatar

    Nice job Kyle and the 18 team. Now crash the party at Martinsville and Phoenix

  3. Avatar

    ALL_RIGHT !! Still can’t imagine a real playoff without KB in it. Years ago they changed the rules to let Jeffie in and they should do the same for Kyle this crazy year.

  4. Avatar

    KB won and no one cares. How about that. Love it.