Kurt Busch outduels little brother to win at Kentucky

Kurt Busch celebrates his win in the Monster Energy Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky. on Saturday.

SPARTA, Ky. (AP) — Kurt Busch won a door-to-door overtime battle with his little brother at Kentucky Speedway to earn his first victory with Chip Ganassi Racing.

The Saturday night showdown between the Busch Brothers came a week after Kurt Busch lost at Daytona because he pitted from the lead moments before weather stopped the race. That pit call haunted Busch and his crew chief all week, but a late call for four tires gave the No. 1 team a shot at redemption.

Joey Logano had the victory in hand until a spin by Bubba Wallace with six laps remaining sent the race into overtime.

Logano and Kyle Busch lined up side-by-side on the restart for what was expected to be a race for the victory, but both Erik Jones and Kurt Busch shoved their cars into the mix for an intense final two laps. Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch touched as they raced for the lead, both cars wiggled, and it appeared Kurt Busch was headed into the wall.

But he recovered to squeeze past his brother right before the checkered flag.

The Busch Brothers finished 1-2, but it was the first win of the year for Kurt Busch and his new Ganassi team. Team owner Chip Ganassi called into victory lane from Toronto, where he’s with his IndyCar team.

The victory is the third straight of the season for Chevrolet and first in nine races at Kentucky. It ended a two-race Kentucky winning streak for Martin Truex Jr. and Toyota

Jones was third in a Toyota and Ganassi driver Kyle Larson was fourth. Denny Hamlin was fifth as JGR had three cars in the top five.

The finish was fitting considering the first two stages belonged to the Buschs. Kurt won the first 80-lap segment while Kyle Busch won the second.

* * *

Custer wins Xfinity Kentucky

SPARTA, Ky. (AP) — Cole Custer was never really challenged down the stretch. He just acted like Christopher Bell was in his rear-view mirror, an approach that motivated him to keep a safe distance.

Custer grabbed an Xfinity Series-high fifth victory of the season Friday night with a win over Bell at Kentucky Speedway.

“He got a little close and I was definitely sweating a little bit,” said Custer, who fell backward off his car during the victory lane celebration. “He was definitely our competition there at the end, but we had the better car. I was sweating after that green flag pit stop because he closed in on me and I had trouble with lappers, but we had a good enough car to pull away.”

Custer, Bell and reigning series champion Tyler Reddick have dominated the series all year and finished 1-2-3 at Kentucky. Bell, who has four wins this season, won the first two stages and led 72 laps. Reddick, the series points leader and a three-time winner this season, didn’t lead a lap.

It was Custer who dominated by leading 88 of the 200 laps in a Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. He took the lead for the final time on lap 155 and beat Bell by 1.651 seconds.

Michael Annett and Chase Briscoe completed the top five. Only the top five cars finished on the lead lap.

Custer has now won consecutive races on 1.5-mile tracks following his win at Chicago two weeks ago. He’s won three of the last six races and has seven career wins in 88 Xfinity starts.

Reddick leads the point standings by 67 over Bell.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.