Late Pass Sends Kyle Busch to Food City 500 Victory

Wednesday, 18 Apr, 2018

Busch passed Larson with five laps remaining at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday to win his second straight Cup Series race, culminating a rain-delayed weekend when temperatures dipped into the high 30s. In the end, and with less than half the required number of scheduled 500 laps able to be completed, the race was suspended to the following day. But even then the drivers had to dodge periods of rain and sleet. After a disappointing finish last weekend at Martinsville, the rookie driver took the No. 43 to the lead for the first time since John Andretti in 2001. NASCAR has also announced there will be a competition caution with the lap still to be determined.

Larson was leading when the race was postponed Sunday with 296 laps remaining after being delayed several times because of rain. Snow began falling as Busch celebrated with a traditional bow to the crowd on top of his No. 18 Toyota. "Although we had plenty of bad luck over the course of the four or five days that we've been here, we were able to pull through and get a great third place finish".

A clearly disappointed Larson lamented losing the win after being so dominant.

It is Busch's 45th career Cup win and marks the fifth time in his career that he has won back-to-back races; he won last week at Texas.

"I knew it would be hard to get back to him, " Larson said.

Cautions were the name of the game at Bristol with the yellow flag flying 13 times for 114 laps.

Larson, who led a total of 272 laps in the Cup races previous year at Bristol that were won by Jimmie Johnson and Busch, led a race-high 200 laps in this race but once again was foiled and once again saw Busch as the victor. He remains the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to score a win this season.

The loss left Larson, who led a race-high 200 laps, extremely frustrated. The three stages are broken up at laps 125 and 250.

"You tend to try to want to think about saving that bump and run deal for the last lap, but I just took my chance with it, and if he got back to my rear bumper, then so be it", Busch said.

Ryan Blaney led for 99 laps in the first stage, proving himself as one of the week's fastest cars, but he was caught up in a wreck entirely not of his doing and crashed out of the race. Cassill's result is the best ever for the team.

Two underdogs who recorded their best finishes of the year were David Ragan who finished 12th for Front Row Motorsports, and Landon Cassill who finished 20th for StarCom Racing.