RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings BRISTOL, Tenn. -- When Chris Buescher 's Ford faltered on a green-white-checkered restart on Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch took full advantage, as is his custom. In a Food City 300 that went to two laps of overtime at the .533-mile short track, Busch finished .427 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson , as Buescher faded to 11th after his car failed to pick up fuel off Turn 2 of the next-to-last lap. The victory was Busch's third of the season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, his eighth at Bristol and the 73rd of his career, extending his own series record. "This is home -- this is where I'm supposed to be," Busch said, standing outside the car in Victory Lane. "I wish I was here Wednesday night (after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race), so we could continue the sweep lookout for (Saturday), but that was a second place. Oh, well." Polesitter Denny Hamlin ran third, followed by Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez , who got a bonus for his top-five run. As the highest finishing eligible driver in the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program, Suarez picked up an extra $100,000. Pit strategy put Buescher at the front of the field under the fourth caution of the race, caused by Cale Conley 's spin in Turn 4. Staying out on older tires while most of the lead-lap cars came to pit road for fresh rubber and fuel, Buescher nevertheless pulled away from Busch during a succession of restarts, as Busch saved his equipment for what he thought would be the inevitable late-race caution. "I let the 60 (Buescher) go," Busch said. "He ran out there to about a straightaway on us, and I was just trying to save and do what I could to keep my tires underneath me. I knew we were going to get some cautions at the end to bunch us back up, and fortunately we did. "I wasn't sure they were going to make it on fuel (having pitted on lap 131 of 302), and obviously they cut it close -- a little too close." Busch got the yellow he needed, just in time. Brad Teague 's wreck on the frontstretch with five laps left set up the green-white-checkered and gave Busch the chance he needed. Buescher, who saw his series lead shrink to 19 points over Ty Dillon , knew he could have made it to the end on fuel, had the race not gone to overtime.
RELATED: Bristol results " Chase Grid " By the numbers since Busch's return With only two races left until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, it's time to check in on Kyle Busch , driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing , as he tries to rebound from missing 11 races to early season injuries and make the Chase. He is currently the only driver with multiple wins who has yet to mathematically clinch a spot in the Chase. WHAT JUST HAPPENED: Busch started second in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, sharing the front row with pole-sitting teammate Denny Hamlin 's No. 11 Toyota. He followed a win in Friday night's green-white-checkered finish in the XFINITY Series with an eighth-place finish in the Sprint Cup race. A green-flag stop for a loose wheel and a penalty for speeding on pit road cost Busch a shot at winning the race despite leading the most laps, 192 of 500. WHAT HE NEEDS: Staying out of trouble remains a priority. Busch must remain in the top 30 in the drivers points standings and is in 29th after Bristol, 46 points ahead of 31st-place driver Cole Whitt . But after Saturday's race, Busch is closer to 28th place, just one point behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., who finished 21st at Bristol. There is a good chance Busch could lock up his Chase spot at Darlington next week. WHAT'S NEXT: The Sprint Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 6 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "The Lady in Black" is a tough track to tame, and the low downforce package that teams ran at Kentucky Speedway will also be used at Darlington. Busch won at Kentucky and was among the drivers who raved about the new aero package. He also has one win at Darlington, in 2008, and has an average finish there of 13.6.
Practice 2 " Complete final practice results After coming in third in opening practice, Kyle Busch 's No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota rocketed around Bristol Motor Speedway and to the top of the leaderboard in Friday's second practice session. "Rowdy" recorded a fast lap of 131.146 mph, a speed that rivals the previous qualifying track record Kevin Harvick set in 2014 (131.362 mph). David Ragan made a late run to earn the second spot on the leaderboard, maneuvering his No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota at 130.646 mph around the short track. Having led the opening practice, Kyle Larson 's fast lap of 130.018 mph allowed him to spend some time at the top of the leaderboard before setting for third on the board in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet. Team Penske 's Joey Logano came up next, wheeling a fast lap of 129.587 mph for the fourth position, while Joe Gibbs Racing 's Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five (129.404 mph). Reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick posted the sixth-fastest speed, recording a high speed of 129.334 mph in his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr ., Aric Almirola and Jeb Burton all experienced trouble in the opening session, but were back on track in the final session. Johnson led the corral, posting the ninth-fastest speed (129.073 mph) in his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, while Martin Truex Jr .'s No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet was 21st (127.724 mph). Several drivers attempted qualifying runs during the second session, bringing several drivers' speeds up from the previous session. The Sprint Cup Series is back on track tonight at Bristol at 5:45 p.m. for Coors Light Pole Qualifying (NBCSN). Practice 1: Complete opening practice results Kyle Larson surged to the top of the leaderboard in the final minute of Friday's Sprint Cup practice at Bristol Motor Speedway, propelling his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Chevrolet around the short track at 129.833 mph to lead the session. Matt Kenseth also made a late run, briefly topping the leaderboard before settling into second with a fast lap of 128.597 mph from his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The leader for the majority of the hour-and-a-half session, Kyle Busch came up third after Kenseth's late run. "Rowdy" wheeled his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota around the short track at 128.580 mph. Michael Waltrip Racing 's Clint Bowyer (128.099 mph) and Joe Gibbs Racing 's Carl Edwards (127.707 mph) rounded out the top five. Wheeling the iconic No. 24 rainbow paint scheme at 126.637 mph, Jeff Gordon posted the 14th-fastest speed in the field. Chase Elliott , who will take Gordon's place in the No. 24 ride next season, watched Gordon from the top of the No. 24 hauler following his own XFINITY practice. Jimmie Johnson missed 38 minutes of the practice after his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet got up high on the track and made contact with the wall nine minutes into the session. He returned to the track and posted the 18th-fastest speed. Jeb Burton and Aric Almirola also hit the wall during the session. Martin Truex Jr . slammed into the wall in the final 10 minutes of practice, forcing the No. 78 team to bring out the backup car.
RELATED: Full qualifying results Kyle Busch won the Keystone Light Pole Qualifying on Wednesday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. Despite Kyle's recent on-track dominance in all three series, this is his first pole for the 2015 Camping World Truck Series season. "Rowdy" had a fastest speed of 125.683 mph in 15.267 seconds. Next on the leaderboard was the driver of the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford, Ryan Blaney . Blaney posted a fast lap of 125.559 mph in 15.282 seconds. And rounding out the top three was Brandon Jones in his No. 33 Chevrolet, coming in at 125.469 mph (15.293 seconds). Next was the No. 4 of Erik Jones (125.166 mph) and the No. 00 of Cole Custer (125.142 mph) in fourth and fifth, respectively. On-track action for the NCWTS picks back up at 8:30 p.m. ET for the UNOH 200 Presented by ZLOOP (200 laps, 106.6 miles), FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM.
Just how dominant has Kyle Busch been since returning from injuries suffered in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race? This dominant: SPRINT CUP SERIES Starts: 13 Wins: 4 Top fives: 5 Top 10s: 7 Laps led: 525 Average finish: 12.4 XFINITY SERIES Starts: 5 Wins: 3 Top fives: 5 Top 10s: 5 Laps led: 282 Average finish: 2.0 CAMPING WORLD TRUCK TRUCK Starts: 3 Wins: 2 Top fives: 3 Top 10s: 3 Laps led: 101 Average finish: 1.3 COMBINED Starts: 21 Wins: 9 Top fives: 13 Top 10s: 15 Laps led: 908
NASCAR.com’s Jonathan Merryman recaps the Food City 300 as Chris Buescher runs out of fuel in the final laps, allowing Kyle Busch to grab his 8th career XFINITY Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Points leader Chris Buescher runs out of gas in the final laps, allowing Kyle Busch to grab the checkers in the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
RELATED: Practice 3 results " Practice 2 results Martin Truex Jr . shuffled to the top of the leaderboard in Saturday's final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, a 55-minute session marked by an early crash by Kyle Busch . Truex drove the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Chevrolet to a best lap of 191.729 mph on the 2-mile track. In Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying, he managed to secure just the 22nd starting spot for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). Joey Logano claimed the second-fastest spot on the leaderboard at 191.215 mph in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Carl Edwards backed up his third starting spot with the third-fastest lap in final practice, clocking 191.189 mph on the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota. Kyle Larson was fourth-fastest with fellow Chevrolet driver Austin Dillon completing the top five. Dillon, who made a strong showing Friday by qualifying fourth, lost power on his Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet with six minutes left in final practice. Busch , tied for the series lead with four victories this season, lost control of his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota off Turn 4 just five minutes into final practice. The car slid sideways toward the infield, digging its nose into the grass and causing significant damage as it skidded to a halt. "You're leaking. Shut it down," crew chief Adam Stevens told Busch , who was evaluated and released at the infield care center. The JGR team unloaded the backup No. 18 car, which made two runs toward the end of practice. "I was just running along, everything was fine and I was actually feeling pretty good about it," Busch said. "Just started to get a little free up off of (turn) four. It started stepping out like it did here in the spring. I over-corrected and hit the wall so this time around I just kind of made it keep rotating and head down towards the infield. I think we need more grass at these race tracks, I think the apron should be full of grass." Those comments echoed the sarcastic remarks he gave to NBC Sports Network: "I think we should have more grass and it should be taller." Matt Kenseth , winner of the Coors Light Pole Award in Friday qualifying, was 16th-fastest in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. Kurt Busch , the most recent Michigan winner in June's rain-shortened Quicken Loans 400 , was 15th-fastest in Stewart-Haas Racing 's No. 41 Chevrolet. Jeff Gordon , the defending race winner, was 21st-fastest in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet in preparation for his final Michigan race as a full-time Sprint Cup competitor. Harvick tops Saturday's early practice Kevin Harvick was up and at 'em early Saturday morning, leading the day's early-morning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Michigan International Speedway. His speed of 194.784 mph in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet was enough to top the speed charts, including pole-starter Matt Kenseth . Kenseth, the Coors Light Pole winner for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), was the top Toyota on the board Saturday, coming in second at 194.411 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20. Kyle Larson (194.013 mph), Kyle Busch (193.976 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (193.934 mph) rounded out the top five at the 2-mile track. In an effort to further test the high-drag rules package and simulate race conditions, teams communicated via radio about working together for a few laps of pack racing -- and at 9:10 a.m. ET, with 15 minutes remaining, a large contingent of cars left pit road together. Kurt Busch , the series' most recent Michigan winner in June, was 14th-fastest. Jeff Gordon , the defending race winner prepping for what's expected to be his final Michigan start, was 17th-fastest. Saturday's final practice is slated for 11:30 a.m. ET, with TV coverage on CNBC and live online streaming via Live Extra .
RELATED: Latest on Busch's Chase position WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- It’s no longer a matter of when will Kyle Busch crack the top 30 in the points standings. It’s become a matter of whether he can maintain the spot with just four races remaining before the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway. Sunday’s second-place finish in the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen improved the Joe Gibbs Racing driver's points position by two spots. He now sits 30th in the standings, one of the necessary qualifiers to make the Chase. Kyle also has four wins. His Chase eligibility waiver required one win for him to earn one of the 16 berths. But he has to stay in the top 30, and there are no guarantees in NASCAR. Four weeks can be four chances to move even deeper inside the top 30, or four chances to stumble. "We couldn't afford running out of gas like we did last week and taking home an even worse finish this week because of how many cars finish on the lead lap typically at a road course," Busch said after finishing second to Team Penske driver Joey Logano at Watkins Glen International and referencing the fuel gamble that occurred at Pocono Raceway. "We’d be back in the 30s somewhere." It happened at Pocono last weekend during the Windows 10 400 as Busch , momentarily in the top 30 with the race lead and a clear path to the checkered flag, ran out of gas. He finished 21st and remained outside of the top 30 in points. "I'm sure that was weighing on Adam's mind on being able to save it and make it to the end and just playing it a little bit more cautious, which is fine," Busch said of crew chief Adam Stevens. "I'm with Adam 100 percent of the way all the time. He's doing a great job right now. "We've obviously got some things clicking and he knows what he's doing, so for me to argue that point doesn't make any sense." Sidelined for the first 11 races after breaking his right leg and left foot in a crash during the XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway, Busch and his No. 18 team have performed almost flawlessly since returning at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 . Forty-first in points after his first start of the season, an 11th-place finish at CMS, Busch eventually reeled off four wins in a span of five races, including three in a row at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis. "For us to be in the top 30 right now, that obviously allows us to change our mindset maybe a little bit here going forward," said Busch , who led for three consecutive laps on the 2.45-mile road course. "We maybe could have played this race a little bit differently if we were like the No. 4 car (of defending series champion Kevin Harvick ) who had absolutely nothing to lose, and lo and behold, they run out (of gas) and come home third. "We run out and come home 21st last week. Just an overall good day for us, though, with our bunch." Busch , a winner of 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, has qualified for the Chase for two consecutive years and seven times overall. An eighth appearance isn't guaranteed. A good bet perhaps, but not quite a given.
RELATED: Race results " Series standings BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Not even a pit road speeding penalty could keep Kyle Busch from his appointed rounds on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway. With drafting help from Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Erik Jones entering Turn 1, Busch regained the lead from Ryan Blaney on Lap 97 of 100 in the Careers for Veterans 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and held on to win by .157 seconds. Blaney held the second spot, and Jones finished third, followed by Johnny Sauter and Austin Dillon . Two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton battled a buckling windshield, a penalty for pitting too soon to correct it and a late spin after contact from John Wes Townley 's Chevrolet to finish sixth. Crafton gained three points on series leader Tyler Reddick , who ran ninth, and now trails by eight. Jones is third in the standings, nine points back. The victory was Busch's first at MIS after four runner-up finishes in the series, and it was his second in two starts since returning from an injury that sidelined the driver of the No. 51 Toyota from all racing activity from Feb. 21 through mid-May. "First win for me, first win for KBM here," said Busch , who won for the 44th time in the Truck Series. "I loved racing with those guys up there -- Jones, Blaney and Dillon. It was pretty hectic on how all that was going to shape up and play out. "Just cool to finally get that monkey off my back here in the Truck Series and notch another race track where I've won in all three divisions here at Michigan." Under caution on Lap 27, Busch was penalized for speeding while entering pit road and restarted at the back of the field on Lap 31. By Lap 51, Busch had worked his way back to fifth in the running order, and after an exchange of green-flag pit stops, he regained the lead on Lap 69. "We were trying something new with our tach settings, and it didn't really work," Busch said of the speeding infraction. Drivers gauge pit road speeds with their tachometers and a series of lights on the dashboard. In essence, Busch was seeing two sets of lights at the same time, calibrated to different settings, and that led directly to the speeding penalty. Once Busch passed Blaney with fewer than four laps left, Blaney -- without a teammate to help -- was resigned to a second-place finish. "When we got the lead (after a Lap 95 restart), I knew it was going to be hard to keep him behind us, because he can lay back to the 4 (Jones) and just get a big run and get by you," Blaney said. "There's nothing, as the leader, that you can do about it. "You're wide open. You can break the draft all you want, but when he's got a partner, it's just like speedway racing -- he can go by you."