Victory Locks Kyle Busch Into The Chase
HAMPTON, Ga. – Kyle Busch spent more than 200 laps struggling with the handling of his M&M’s Toyota on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but he was in the right place at the right time when it mattered most.
Busch was able to survive multiple late-race restarts and drive away to victory in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 to lock up a position in the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup. It was his fourth victory of the season.
Busch spent much of the race struggling with his race car, but a timely caution flag gave Busch the chance to battle for the victory. Joey Logano was the race leader on lap 287 when Jimmie Johnson, who was suffering through another bad race, spun after contact with Jeff Burton.
All of the leaders pitted under the caution period. Busch came down pit road in third and was able to beat Logano out of the pits to take the lead. Ryan Newman came off pit road second, with Logano slotting into the third position.
The field returned to racing with 33 laps left and while Busch got a solid jump, Newman’s Chevrolet didn’t and that backed up the outside line. That allowed Kurt Busch, who restarted 11th, to make a huge run through the field to second position in one lap.
Just as the field completed the restart lap Brian Vickers went for a spin coming out of turn four to bring out the caution flag.
The Busch brothers lined up on the front row for the next restart with 28 laps left. Kyle Busch again got the lead with his older brother following behind, but once again the caution flag flew within a lap. This time it was Jeff Burton who cut a tire and made contact with Austin Dillon in turn four.
The field once again returned to racing with 21 laps left. Third-place Martin Truex Jr. got a great restart and was able to get alongside Kyle Busch for the race lead as the field flowed into turn one. Truex stayed side-by-side with Kyle Busch down the backstretch, but he wasn’t able to complete the pass and faded back into second.
Meanwhile Logano, who had faded to sixth during the previous two restarts, began to charge back up through the field. With 13 laps left Logano was the fastest car on the track and was up to fourth. With seven laps left he tracked down Kurt Busch for third, and with three to go he passed Truex for second.
Unfortunately for Logano, he simply ran out of time as Kyle Busch crossed the finish line .740 of a second ahead of him to pick up the victory.