JOLIET, Ill – Kyle Busch won Sunday’s Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland Speedway over Kyle Larson after the two made contact twice on the final lap.
Busch was able to hold the top spot until the checkered flag flew and scored his fifth win of the season and 48th of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
"I got really boxed in behind some lapped cars and got really slow and was just trying to get all I could there the last couple of laps," Busch said. "Larson tried to pull his slider, didn’t quite complete it, slid up into me, used me. I kind of used him as a little bit of a brake getting into (Turn) 3. Was able to come back for the victory."
Larson, who made a miraculous save after the last lap contact kept his car heading in the right direction to the second-place finish.
"I’m not upset," Larson said. "I had an opportunity there to slide in front of (Busch). I figured I wouldn’t clear him or I would allow him to drive back underneath me. I tried to get to his door, I opened the door for him to retaliate in (Turn) 3.
"I thought it was free game. I ran into him first. He got me after that, maybe a little worse than I got him. That’s all right. I love racing Kyle. We put on a hell of show for you guys. That was a blast. That’s gotta be one of the best NASCAR finishes of all time." Read More
Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five.
Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Alex Bowman completed the first 10 finishers.
Aric Almirola and Harvick won the first two stages. Stage Points
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Daytona International Speedway next Saturday night for the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
How Busch Won: Busch led only once for 59 laps but his car came to life in the late going and he was able to make a charge to the front and take the lead. But Larson closed in as the laps wound down with the duo searching high and low around the track to find the best groove. As they ran into lapped traffic Larson made contact with Busch who then returned the favor to slip ahead and go on to Victory Lane.
Who Had a Good Day: Larson is still winless on 1.5 mile tracks but now has seven runner-up finishes….Harvick has finished top-three in nine of the 17 races in 2018…Truex Jr. has finished top-four in six of the last seven races of 2018…Bowyer came back from two penalties on pit road and two laps down to finish in the top five (Read More).
Who Had a Bad Day: David Ragan had a broken axle…Austin Dillon had a brake rotor issue that resulted in a small fire inside his right-front wheel well before heading to the garage…Aric Almirola led a race-high 70 laps but a loose wheel – one of two on the day – took him out of contention for a win and he wound up 25th…Chase Elliott’s Chicago success ended with an ill-handling car in the second half of the race and he finished 19th.
What Else Happened: The hottest conditions of the season greeted drivers on Sunday and the heat definitely made an impact both inside the car as well as on track. The 18-year-old Chicagoland Speedway surface combined with the conditions created opportunities for side-by-side racing throughout the afternoon. There was also a threat of potential thunderstorms hitting the area late in the race, which did not materialize, but that also increased the intensity level as the race drew to a close.
Quotable: "I don’t know why he would have a conversation, maybe you can tell me that," Harvick when asked if he would talk to teammate Kurt Busch after edging him to win the second stage.
Notables: Kyle Busch and Larson have finished 1-2 eight times between Cup and NXS, Busch won all eight…Aric Almirola laps led was his most ever in a race and more than he had led in the last five seasons…Keselowski and Hamlin’s car each had one loose lug nut in post-race inspection.