Kyle Busch is starting to get very familiar with Gatorade Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway.
For the third consecutive year, Busch won the Kansas Lottery 300, marking his sixth trip to Victory Lane at Kansas and second of the year. His six NASCAR national series wins at Kansas are the most of any driver in the track’s 16-year existence.
It marked Busch’s ninth victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2016 and his 85th career victory in 327 XFINITY Series starts.
Busch, who was the pole sitter for the Kansas Lottery 300, dominated the race from start to finish. While there were seven total leaders for the race, Busch led 150 of 200 laps. Despite leading all but 50 laps of the race, it was a late caution that helped Busch claim the victory.
Benefiting from a caution on Lap 159, Busch was in the lucky dog position and was able to remain on the lead lap. Busch was able to move up in the pack following the race’s next two restarts on Lap 174 and 182. On the final restart of the race on Lap 187, Busch stole the lead from Daniel Suárez and never looked back.
“It was certainly a good day for us,” said Busch following the win. “There were a lot of obstacles working against us today. We somehow got a little luck on our side and had a couple of good restarts late.”
While Busch earned the glory in the Kansas Lottery 300, there was plenty of drama in the Chase for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. While Busch would have easily contended for the XFINITY Series Championship, he was ineligible for the Chase because he declared his points for the Cup Series.
Elliott Sadler and Suárez, both contenders for the XFINITY Series Championship, finished second and third, respectively. Because Suárez earned a bonus point for leading laps in the race, Sadler and Suárez topped the Chase standings after the first race in the Round of 8 for the Chase for the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
The biggest shake-up in the Chase standings came with 34 laps to go. A massive wreck involved the cars of Darrell Wallace Jr., Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, Ryan Reed, Ryan Sieg and Brandon Jones. After the race’s seventh restart, Jones tapped Allgaier, causing Allgaier to go sideways into Wallace. The wreck seriously damaged the cars of Allgaier and Reed while knocking Wallace out of the race completely.
Allgaier was able to recover from the wreck, despite losing his left fender, and finished 14th in the race. Wallace, who finished 33rd, dropped to eighth in the Chase standings. Wallace, who had led three laps in the Kansas Lottery 300, was unable to recover from his poor finish at Kansas and was one of the four drivers eliminated from the Chase in the final elimination before Homestead-Miami.
Another Chase contender, Brendan Gaughan, put himself in a hole after getting loose in Turn 4 while going three-wide. After bumping into the side of Ross Chastain, Gaughan went spinning through the tri-oval grass. Gaughan would finish 31st and like Wallace, would not be able to recover in the next two races and was eliminated from the Chase.