Kyle Busch scored his second consecutive win of the season when he took the checkered flag in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
It was also his second straight win at Bristol and his seventh overall in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the .533-mile track (Bristol Winners).
Busch nudged by Kyle Larson with six laps to go and was able to drive to his 45th career victory (All-Time Winners).
“That was a heck of a run right there with the 42 (Kyle Larson) – chasing him down, being able to get to him, being able to get by him and then trying to hold him off with some lap traffic ahead of us,” Busch said. “I can’t say enough about this Skittles Toyota Camry.”
It took two days to complete after rain suspended the race on Sunday but when it picked up again Monday afternoon Busch was able to prevail despite cold temperatures and periods of more wet weather. He led five times for 117 laps, including the final six.
Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five.
Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman completed the first 10 finishers.
Brad Keselowski won Stage 1 and 2 (Stage Points).
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Richmond Raceway next Satruday night.
How Busch Won: He chased down Larson and made contact with his rear bumper six laps from the finish and drove into the top spot. From there while Larson furiously tried to chase him down, Busch kept his Toyota in front to score his second straight Cup win.
Who Had a Good Day: Larson spun on lap 324 as the leader when Newman made contact but came back to score his second runner up finish of 2018 and first top-five finish at Bristol in his ninth race (Read More)…Johnson scored his first top-five finish since he finished third at Dover last October (Read More)…Stenhouse Jr. had an eventful day when he spun on lap 61 from 2nd and had an uncontrolled tire penalty from ninth on lap 130 but got his first top-10 finish of 2018 and has finished top 10 in three of the last four races at Bristol (Read More).
Who Had a Bad Day: Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. was caught up in an early accident on Sunday and after finishing last the previous race in Texas was credited with a 30th-place Bristol finish…Chase Elliott was also a victim of an early accident and forced to make laps just to finish 29th…Brad Keselowski was a front-runner until late in the race when he fell back in the pack and finally cut a tire to hit the wall and finished 23rd.
What Else Happened: Weather. That will be the main takeaway from this year’s Food City 500. Because of the constant interruptions from Mother Nature, it was nearly impossible to get a gauge or takeaway on the overall event. When there were extended periods of green flag competition, good racing was on display. Saturday’s Xfinity Series race seemed to hit the sweet spot of balancing single file and side-by-side racing at Bristol but it was difficult coming to any real conclusion in Sunday’s main event. Things definitely changed when the race was resumed on Monday as the intensity level escalated dramatically. Let’s hope Bristol gets a picture perfect summer evening for the August night race because the track deserves a major weather break after the last couple years.
Quotable: “Got the 43 STP back out front where it belongs,” crew chief Drew Blickensderfer after Bubba Wallace took the lead in the Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet.
Notables: Bowman had his career-best finish in his 89th start (Read More)…Almirola scored his best 2018 finish…Busch scored Toyota’s third win of the year.