Kyle Busch came to Kansas Speedway in May having been to Gatorade Victory Lane four times in his racing career at the facility. However, none of those wins were in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Kansas Speedway was one of three active tracks (out of 23) where Busch hadn’t won.
In the 2016 GoBowling 400, Busch was finally able to call himself a Sprint Cup Series winner at Kansas.
For the majority of the race, Busch didn’t look like he was going to get it done. Martin Truex Jr., the pole sitter for the race, dominated the race by leading 172 of the first 211 laps.
Truex relinquished his lead on Lap 212 when he made a scheduled green-flag pit stop. However, he had to pit a second time after an unexpected issue with his tire, which caused his car to shake.
By the time he returned to the track, he had fallen to 20th place and was one-lap down. Truex continued to push his car to the limits over the last 50 laps, but he simply didn’t have enough time to overcome the issue.
"You always know there's the possibility of those things happening; you just hope they are earlier in the race and you can overcome them," said Truex, who finished 14th. "We certainly had a car fast enough that we could have overcome that if it was earlier. We just ran out of time there at the end."
Tony Stewart, who was making just the third start of his final season in the Sprint Cup Series, pushed his way to the front of the pack at Kansas on Lap 219 because of pit strategies. It was the first time “Smoke” had led in a race since September 6th, 2015. Stewart finished the race in 12th place, his best finish at Kansas since he finished fifth in October 2012.
Stewart relinquished the lead to Kyle Busch on Lap 231. Busch’s crew chief made a decision to stay out after a caution on Lap 242 which played a role in Busch’s first Cup win in 17 starts at Kansas Speedway.
"It's pretty big," said Busch. "There's been a lot of rough days here at Kansas that's for sure. This thing was awesome tonight. The 78 was probably the fastest car, but we kept ourselves in the game. The call to stay out was a good one. I thought clean air was best."