Kyle Busch captured his eighth win of the season in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway and will be one of the Championship 4 next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Busch, who locked his spot up to run for the championship on points during the race, led 117 laps en route to the checkered flag.
Busch joins Joey Logano, who won at Martinsville Speedway, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick as the title contenders.
“We had a rough start to the early part of this weekend,” Busch said. “It’s cool to put it where we need to right here right now in Victory Lane. … Man, what a day, what a race.”
The win was the 51st of Busch’s career.
Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer all missed the cut to advance in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Almirola and Harvick rounded out the top five.
Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Austin Dillon, William Byron and Bubba Wallace completed the first 10 finishers.
Elliott and Kyle Busch won the first two stages. Stage Points
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season comes to a conclusion next Sunday with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
How Busch Won: He had a good car all day long as evident of his 117 laps led. But Busch needed a great restart, and had good short-run speed, on the final one of the day with under ten laps to go and Almirola on his outside. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver needed to win in order to move on to run for the championship in Miami but Busch got the jump when the green flag reappeared. He was able to get the advantage and finally hold off a fast approaching Keselowski for victory number eight of the season.
Who Had a Good Day: Keselowski had his best finish at ISM in his 19th race, his previous best finish was third in March 2014…Larson has finished top three in three of the last five races at ISM…Harvick rebounded from a lap 73 flat tire from the lead to get his 11th straight top-six finish at ISM and transferred to the Championship 4 for the fourth time…Kenseth had his first top-10 finish in 14 starts in 2018.
Who Had a Bad Day: The playoff picture was dramatically impacted late when Denny Hamlin got into Kurt Busch racing for the lead. The duo spun hit the wall and collected Chase Elliott. It effectively ended the day for Busch and Elliott as well as their championship aspirations (Read More)…Joey Logano suffered a flat left-rear tire causing him to spin and hit the wall severely damaging his Team Penske Ford causing him to exit the race. Daniel Suarez was also swept up in the incident trying to avoid Logano’s spinning car…Clint Bowyer’s playoff hopes ended in similar fashion when he too had a left rear tire issue and also spun before hitting the wall and damaging his car beyond repair (Read More)…Ryan Blaney had a mechanical issue when a lug nut went through the radiator that sent him to pit road from the lead pack after a late restart…Ricky Stenhouse Jr. continued the theme of drivers with a left-rear tire issue that sent him into the wall with 50 laps to go with the accident causing a red flag for clean-up…Alex Bowman, who was also part of the Kurt Busch, Hamlin Elliott accident, was able to return but then hit the wall after a spin briefly erupting in fire and causing the day’s second red flag.
What Else Happened: Mistakes and challenges impacted a number of drivers both those in and out of the playoff picture. Tire issues eliminated some drivers, speeding penalties and other pit road miscues played a part in the outcome for others. Long green flag runs were mainly the order of the day in the first two segments but there was a spotlight on pit road as has been the case for most of the playoffs especially.
Quotable: “Denny came out of nowhere and cleaned us out,” Kurt Busch on the late-race incident with Denny Hamlin.
Notable: Kyle Busch is tied with Harvick for most series wins this year at eight…Kyle Busch has now won on every track on the schedule in a Toyota except the Charlotte Roval…Wallace scored his third career top-10 finish.