Post-Race Reactions: Kentucky 201
Championship contenders Kligerman, Coulter, Dillon, and Peters comment on their Kentucky runs along with Brian Scott.
Kyle Busch wins at Kentucky in overtime finish
RELATED: Results " Standings SPARTA, Ky. – It was a race Kyle Busch won with a dramatic run around the outside lane at Kentucky Speedway. It was a race Erik Jones lost when he hit the wrong switch on his dashboard, killed the engine and slowed under caution late in the race. But, interestingly, it was a race where Jones showed Busch, the pole winner, the key to victory, demonstrating to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate that the outside line was viable when racing side-by-side with an opponent. Clearing Austin Dillon off Turn 4 in the first lap in overtime in Friday night’s Alsco 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, after caution slowed the race for the fifth time, Busch pulled away to beat the Richard Childress Racing scion to the finish line by .455 seconds. Daniel Suarez finished third after chasing Busch to the final yellow flag, then losing the runner-up spot to Dillon on the last restart. Jones came home a disappointing fourth after outdueling Busch for the lead on Lap 175, only to give it up when his car wouldn’t refire under caution and failed to keep up with the pace car, costing Jones two positions. Busch led 185 of the 201 laps in winning for the fifth time in nine starts this season, the second time at Kentucky and the 81st time in his career, extending his own series record. But it was the run around the outside lane, after Dillon pulled even on the backstretch on lap 200, that proved decisive. And that’s exactly how Jones had passed Busch for the lead on Lap 175. “I didn’t think he’d be able to hold it through (Turns) 3 and 4 like that,” said Dillon, who thought he had the preferred position on the inside. “But he did a great job of holding me down. I wish we could have got it done for (sponsor) Rheem, but it was a really close race.” Busch was roughly a half-second ahead of Suarez and appeared to have the race in hand when caution flew on Lap 195 with smoke billowing from Mike Harmon ’s car. “We always get the Kyle Busch cautions,” Busch said. “Apparently this time it was true. There was some problems with another car smoking. You always have to make your money’s worth, I guess. Always have to give the show to the fans and their money’s worth. “Certainly means a lot to us to win here and bring our Camry home to Victory Lane again at Kentucky Speedway.” Jones said he hit the wrong button when he was rolling under caution and fell behind the pace car, allowing Busch to pass him. NASCAR rules require a driver to maintain pace car speed in order to keep his or her running position. “I think we had the fastest car here once we got out front,” Jones lamented. “It’s just hard to get back up to the front when you get back in traffic.” But before he fell back, Jones had already given Busch the road map to victory. “When Erik drove into Turn 3 with me, I started to roll out just a little bit, because I knew I needed to in order to run the bottom,” Busch said. “And he drove right on past me, and I was like, ‘Well, all righty then.’ “I was waiting for him to slip and to not be able to control his car in the black, in the rubber. And it stuck for him and he made it work. I definitely learned that there was a little bit of speed up there, at least for one lap, for one corner.” And that one corner made all the difference on Friday night.
Erik Jones left frustrated by late mistake at Kentucky
RELATED: Results " Standings SPARTA, Ky. -- Erik Jones had the best view from his office Friday night at Kentucky Speedway, leading in the closing stages, with only the pace car in front of him during a late caution period and with another NASCAR XFINITY Series win in sight. But the equivalent of knocking over a pencil holder or a box of paper clips spoiled both the office feng shui inside his car and his shot at a victory in the Alsco 300. While making adjustments inside the cockpit during the fourth of the race's five yellow flags, Jones accidentally hit the ignition kill switch, causing his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota to stall. NASCAR competition officials ruled that Jones failed to keep pace during his flight fade, forcing him to line up third on the next-to-last restart on Lap 180 of 201 laps. "I don't know. I fell back 20 feet from the pace car, no different than if you're saving fuel and they put me to third place, so I guess I gave it away," Jones said after finishing fourth in the 40-car field. "It's unfortunate. Good Reser's Camry and nothing to show for it." Jones, who led three laps, explained that his late-race gaffe wasn't a matter of purposely turning the car off and on to save fuel. "There's a lot of things obviously these drivers do in these car that the general fan doesn't realize," said Chris Gabehart, crew chief for Jones' JGR No. 20. "They're just as busy or busier under caution trying to manage a lot of things, and that's what Erik was doing. Moving from one switch to the other, he just accidentally hit the ignition switch and turned it off, and it only takes a few seconds before you can't maintain speed and that's all." Jones' frustration as he emerged from the car was evident late Friday night, but Gabehart said the miscue wasn't solely the responsibility of the driver, who is still in his first full season of XFINITY Series competition. "No one puts more pressure on him than he does on himself, like any great athlete or performer would," Gabehart said. "It's no different with him. But he's just 20. He's still making mistakes every day for the first time like we all are, but when you're younger, you make a lot more of them in a day and you've got to learn from them. "Just a simple mistake, but we made the mistake. That's what I want to stress is, it's not Erik we're talking about. Just like it wasn't my team we were talking about last week at Daytona or at Iowa, it's us as a race team no matter what, and that's the biggest lesson I want him to take from this. And he will. He's a smart kid." Jones said he was able to salvage some consolation from his ninth top-five effort of the year, the most of any full-time XFINITY Series driver so far this season. The Michigan native sits fourth in the standings heading to the series' next race, scheduled next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "I mean, we had some good moments, we had a good race car, and it was a good team-building day for us," Jones said. "A lot of good changes, a lot of good gains and it's a pretty good run for a repave. Just unfortunate it didn't work out. I felt like we did have the fastest car here once we got out front, but it's just hard to get back up there once you get back in traffic, so not our night."
Trackside Live: Kentucky Show 1
Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Daniel Hemric join NASCAR Trackside Live in Kentucky .
Trackside Live: Kentucky Show 2
Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Michael McDowell join NASCAR Trackside Live in Kentucky .
Garagecam takes over Kentucky Speedway
Host Matthew Dillner takes to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage at Kentucky Speedway.
Preview Show: Kentucky
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman and analyst Marty Snider break down the ins and outs of Kentucky Speedway.
XFINITY Series Kentucky race postponed
The XFINITY Series race at Kentucky Speedway has been postponed due to inclement weather. The race will take place Saturday, July 8 at noon ET.
DraftKings: Kentucky Price Check
Take a look at the best buys in DraftKings for this weekend's Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
Starting Grid: Kentucky
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman breaks down who will run well at Kentucky Speedway.
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