Rowdy Romps in Kentucky Xfinity Alsco 300
(SPARTA, KY – JULY 8, 2017 – RIS) Kyle Busch put an end to William Byron's hunt for a third straight victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series by winning his 88th race in the series. "I think the biggest thing was just the line selection and how the restarts were and then too how the runs progressed and how the tires kind of wore on," commented Busch after the race. "There was a lot of fall off, more fall off then I expected, but it is a day race so it will probably get better tonight. The way the groove kind of came in or went away from restarts and stuff like that. Got a few ideas that will hopefully help us out tonight."
On the start, Kyle Busch, as the pole winner, held a steady speed to the starting line, while the pack behind him tried to anticipate the start and accelerate. Obviously, this didn't work out well, as the field stacked up and a multi-car crash occurred back in the pack, sending several cars to the pits with damage. Blake Koch, Ryan Reed, Brendan Gaughan and Brandon Jones all got involved, then only a lap into the restart, Gaughan's car slammed into the second turn wall for the second caution of the race. "We just got ko'd on lap one there," said Reed. "They brought us down really slow and took off and stopped again. I saw those guys check up and I laid off the 11 and whoever was behind me came with a full head of steam and picked my rear tires up and shoved us into the 11. We went back out there with the thing completely destroyed and ran a top-10 lap time, so I know we had a good car. The oil was getting too hot to keep running. We salvaged a few spots though. Thank God we have a win at Daytona. That is the insurance that it bought us getting a win down there and locked into the playoffs."
Erik Jones got the lead on the first caution and held on through the lap 25 competition caution with Kyle Busch running second and Cole Custer, Joey Logano and Paul Menard holding down the top five.
Jones took the field down pit road at the end of the first stage, taking only right side tires and holding onto the "lead" but Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney stayed out, along with Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green and David Starr. On the restart, Jones ran fifth, with Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick leading Erik Jones and Kyle Busch. Jones moved around both Busch and Harvick into second with Busch getting third place.
Ryan Blaney took honors in the second stage, but Paul Menard got loose in the third turn and backed into the wall, dislodging the rear axle and ending his day.
After a longer run under green, Ray Black spun to bring out an eighth caution, with Kyle Busch leading Erik Jones after the restart. William Byron, winner of the last two Xfinity Series races, moved into third, then dropped back as Ryan Blaney had the fastest car, moving up in the field making up nineteen spots after the final caution, but unable to catch Busch for the win, after beating Erik Jones for second on the final lap of the race.
Busch's burnout resulted in a blown left rear tire and a pile of rubber dust on the track before he took the checkered flag and then limped the No. 18 to Victory Lane.
"I didn't really have a lot of fun but it was nice to have a good race car that we could pick our way through the field," Blaney commented after the race. "We got it really good at the end. We were good all day. I thought we were the best car all day, personally. Before that last caution. I thought we were going to get by the 20 and set sail. The caution came out and we were debating on whether to pit or not. It is easy to look back on it now and say that we should have stayed out and seen what happened. I thought the right call was to pit and we just had a violation. That stings. It almost stings worse running all the way up there and finishing second than if we would have finished 10th or something. I can't thank Brian Wilson and the Snap-On team enough for letting me drive it and working on it all weekend to get it so fast there at the end and really all weekend. Not where we wanted to be but hopefully we learned some stuff for tonight. It is fun to have this double-header. Thanks to the fans for sticking around for a double-header day. It is disappointing. I think you have to look at the positives and know we had a really fast car and that is something to build off of."
Fourth place finisher Harvick reported that "for some people restarting on the outside was okay but for us we were too free to hold the throttle down. On the bottom I could hold it wide open but on the top I was just kind of chasing the car. I gotta thank Hunt Brothers and everyone from Ford and Stewart Haas for letting me be a part of this program and putting this program together. Everytime we have run we have been in the top-five. We have to keep building on it. The first year is definitely a building block year and they are doing good with it."
Following the race, Busch said that "I feel okay right now so hopefully I can continue to get some more fluids in me and maybe take a nap – I don't know, we'll see what Brexton's schedule is like and I'll nap with him otherwise we'll get back ready and have it tonight.
"Obviously our car was really fast out front and once I got in clean air I didn't think anybody had anything for us."
Unofficial Race Results for the 17th Annual Alsco 300 - Kentucky Speedway
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Pts, Tms, Laps, Playoff Pts, Status
1) 1, Kyle Busch(i), No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Rowdy Toyota, 200, 2, 3, 0, 3, 70, , Running
2) 3, Ryan Blaney(i), No. 12 Snap-On Ford, 200, 9, 1, 0, 2, 52, , Running
3) 2, Erik Jones(i), No. 20 Reser's American Classic Toyota, 200, 1, 2, 0, 2, 77, , Running
4) 11, Kevin Harvick(i), No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford, 200, 10, 4, 0, , , , Running
5) 12, Ty Dillon(i), No. 3 Rheem Chevrolet, 200, , , 0, , , , Running
6) 4, Joey Logano(i), No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, 200, 3, 8, 0, 1, 1, , Running
7) 5, William Byron #, No. 9 Axalta/Mansea Metal Chevrolet, 200, 7, 6, 39, , , , Running
8) 13, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Hellmann's Chevrolet, 200, 8, 7, 36, , , , Running
9) 10, Daniel Hemric #, No. 21 Red Kap/Alsco Chevrolet, 200, , , 28, , , , Running
10) 6, Tyler Reddick, No. 42 BBR/Jason Aldean Chevrolet, 200, 5, 9, 35, , , , Running
11) 8, Cole Custer #, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford, 200, 6, , 31, , , , Running
12) 18, Elliott Sadler, No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet, 200, , , 25, , , , Running
13) 14, Spencer Gallagher #, No. 23 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, 200, , , 24, , , , Running
14) 15, Matt Tifft #, No. 19 Surface/Fanatics Toyota, 200, , , 23, , , , Running
15) 25, Casey Mears, No. 98 GEICO Military Ford, 200, , , 22, , , , Running
16) 23, Michael Annett, No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, 200, , , 21, , , , Running
17) 22, Dakoda Armstrong, No. 28 WinField United Toyota, 200, , , 20, , , , Running
18) 27, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 RSS Racing Chevrolet, 200, , , 19, , , , Running
19) 29, Jeb Burton, No. 24 Estes Express Lines Toyota, 200, , , 18, , , , Running
20) 24, Ross Chastain, No. 4 AE Door & Window Company Chevrolet, 200, , , 17, , , , Running
21) 7, Brennan Poole, No. 48 DC Solar Chevrolet, 199, , 10, 17, , , , Running
22) 26, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet, 199, , , 15, , , , Running
23) 19, Blake Koch, No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 199, , , 14, , , , Running
24) 31, BJ McLeod, No. 8 Keen Parts Chevrolet, 198, , , 13, , , , Running
25) 30, JJ Yeley, No. 14 TriStar Motorsports Toyota, 197, , , 12, , , , Running
26) 32, Garrett Smithley, No. 0 Adapt 2k/Mark Spaulding Construction Chevrolet, 196, , , 11, , , , Running
27) 34, Ray Black II, No. 07 Chevrolet, 195, , , 10, , , , Running
28) 33, Harrison Rhodes, No. 01 Ken Houston Electric Chevrolet, 195, , , 9, , , , Running
29) 38, Chad Finchum, No. 40 Chevrolet, 194, , , 8, , , , Running
30) 40, Angela Ruch, No. 78 Give A Child A Voice Chevrolet, 192, , , 7, , , , Running
31) 36, David Starr, No. 99 Striping Technology Chevrolet, 188, , , 6, , , , Running
32) 16, Ben Kennedy, No. 96 Weber Chevrolet, 178, , , 5, , , , Electrical
33) 35, Joey Gase, No. 52 PrmstrHmRpr&HndymnofCncnai Chev, 125, , , 4, , , , Transmission
34) 9, Paul Menard(i), No. 2 Richmond/Menards Chevrolet, 102, 4, 5, 0, , , , Accident
35) 39, Mike Harmon, No. 74 Veterans Motorsports Dodge, 58, , , 2, , , , Engine
36) 21, Ryan Reed, No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford, 55, , , 1, , , , Overheating
37) 28, Jeff Green, No. 93 RSS Racing Chevrolet, 53, , , 1, , , , Ignition
38) 37, Timmy Hill, No. 13 OCR Gaz Bar Toyota, 31, , , 1, , , , Suspension
39) 17, Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, 6, , , 1, , , , Accident
40) 20, Brandon Jones, No. 33 AAA/Bob Sumerel Tire & Service Chevrolet, 0, , , 1, , , , Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie
Time of Race: 02 Hrs, 30 Mins, 56 Secs.
Average Speed: 119.258 MPH
Margin of Victory: 1.097 Seconds
Race Comments: Kyle Busch wins the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway, his 88th NASCAR XFINITY Series victory. Before the start of the event, no cars dropped to the rear of the field.
Failed to Qualify: (3) 89 Morgan Shepherd, 46 Quin Houff, 90 Brandon Brown.
Caution Flags: 8 for 44 laps: Laps: 2-5 (No. 11, 16, 33, 62 Incident on the frontstretch [None]); 9-14 (No. 62 Incident in Turn 2 ); 27-29 (Competition caution ); 47-51 (Stage 1 Conclusion ); 92-99 (Stage 2 Conclusion ); 104-109 (No. 2 Incident in Turn 2 ); 130-136 (Possible Fluid in Turn 3 ); 168-172 (No. 07 Spin in Turn 2 ).
Lead Changes: 7 among 4 drivers: K. Busch(i) 1-5; E. Jones(i) 6-47; J. Logano(i) 48; R. Blaney(i) 49-99; K. Busch(i) 100-131; R. Blaney(i) 132; E. Jones(i) 133-167; K. Busch(i) 168-200.
Coors Light Pole Award: Kyle Busch, No. 18 181.935 mph
Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: Joe Gibbs Racing Engines - Mark Cronquist, No. 20
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Kyle Busch, No. 18
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: William Byron, No. 9
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.