By Taylor Long
Kyle Busch battled at Bristol and came out on top one more time. Busch has the most wins at the track dubbed “The Last Great Coliseum” among active drivers. This win wasn’t without struggle, as Busch overcame a wreck on the second lap of the day.
William Byron, who started 2nd, spun his tires on the restart and collected Aric Almirola and Kyle Busch. In experience ended Almirola’s day, and all but ensured the young Hendrick driver would finish outside of the top 10. Almirola, who started sixth, finished the day 40th.
Most of the day was dominated by the Fords, with Ryan Blaney leading a race high 158 laps. Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano both lead laps and looked like they have all season.
After working his way back to the front of the pack, Busch had trouble on long runs. Logano, Keselowski and Blaney all looked better down the stretch, but in the end, it came down to pit strategy. The 11th caution of the day came out with 13 laps to go, and while most drivers came down pit road for tires, Kyle Busch stayed out, hoping to hold onto the lead. Busch battled older brother Kurt for the last few laps and mired in traffic the Fords that had been so dominate all day could not mount a comeback.
This marks Kyle Busch’s 8th Cup series win at Bristol, placing him only behind Darrell Waltrip on the all-time win list. Darrell Waltrip fittingly was the Grand Marshal of the race. Waltrip, a longtime driver turned commentator will be retiring from the press box this season.
Things look to be turning around for Chevrolet, with Chase Elliot Finishing 11th, despite being wrecked early in the race, and Jimmie Johnson scoring a top 10.
Kevin Harvick failed prerace inspection 3 times, with his team engineer being expelled from the track for the weekend. Harvick was given a pass through penalty and more penalties will likely follow.
The Monster Energy Cup Series looks ahead to another short track, this time a night race at Richmond International Speedway. The last winner was not surprisingly, Kyle Busch.