Busch Gets Glen XFINITY Win

Kyle Busch

"Been a long time coming. We’ve been so close so many times." (Photo: Getty Images)

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. - Kyle Busch overcame an early spin and a pit road penalty to win Saturday’s Zippo 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Watkins Glen International, his first series win at the New York road course.

It’s the 90th victory of Busch’s career and fourth of 2017 and it’s just his second series victory on a road course.

“Been a long time coming. We’ve been so close so many times,” Busch said. “Overall finally able to check this box off the list. I just had to not screw it up and I tried but we were fast enough to recover.

"This Toyota Camry drove really good. The guys had awesome brakes on the car. The tires were pretty good too. I thought I flat spotted them a couple of times, but they held through throughout the run so that was cool."

Busch wheel hopped and spun his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry around in Turn 1 of the 7-Turn road course while leading, losing three spots in the process. After getting going, Busch maintained his position in the top five and held on to finish third in Stage 1.

"I tried to throw it away and screw it up early on by spinning, but man I was just trying to conserve and save and I thought I almost missed the corner so I gave it a little bit more brake and then it just wheel-hopped on me,” Busch said. "That’s just how close to on edge we are here and I spun around and got back going and only lost a couple spots, but that couple of spots was pretty important for the rest of the day.”

Things went from bad to worse for Busch during his pit stop following the conclusion of Stage 1 as he was penalized by NASCAR for driving through too many pit boxes entering his stall. Busch would restart 28th but charged through the field to finish fourth in Stage 2.

“I don’t know how close it was. I need to go back and look at it. I tried to make sure I was trying to get over straight for my guys to make it easier on them,” Busch said. "I must have mis-judged. Just a slight mistake trying to help out my pit crew.” 

Busch restarted the final stage in fourth and maintained ground in the top five, trailing race leaders Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Busch would take over the race lead after a series of green flag pitstops with under 30 laps to go and begin to pull away from the field. 

After a restart with three laps to go, Busch got the jump on the field and managed to hold on to the lead to score the victory.

"When I got a good launch on Brad there and got ahead of him a little bit I kind of guarded my entry in order to make sure not to overshoot it and it was close so I was glad I didn’t go to where I thought I needed to go,” Busch said. "All in all, the car cut through there real good and I got a good launch up through the esses and down through the backstretch and had a nice gap on everybody by then.”

Behind Busch was Logano in second with Keselowski finishing third. XFINITY Series regulars Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five finishers.

For Logano, he comes up one position short of his winning his third straight NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Watkins Glen.

“I wish it was for the win and not for second. We were a third-place car on the long run and a first-place car on the first two laps we run,” Logano said. “I feel like if I was second I could have won the race. I just had a really good short run car."

Keselowski led twice for six laps but couldn’t keep pace with Busch and Logano at the end.

“The Toyotas had the Fords and Chevys out-classed so bad on horsepower and downforce that they can spin out on their own and still win the race,” Keselowski said. “That just goes to show you how big a difference there is. I gave it all I had."

Sadler continues to lead the series standings by 52 markers over rookie William Byron. Just five races remain before the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs begin at Chicagoland Speedway in September.

Saturday was the first of three road course races for the series in the month of August. Next week the XFINITY Series visits the road course at Mid-Ohio. 

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