Sunday, April 22, 2018

Kyle Busch goes to Victory Lane at Richmond Raceway for three wins in a row

CREDIT: Carol D'Agostino/Skirts and Scuffs
By Carol D’Agostino

The talk going into the Toyota Owners 400 race at Richmond Raceway was about long green runs, keeping up with track changes and the chance of Kyle Busch making it three wins in a row. Three hours and eight minutes later, with a few beating and banging incidents, prerace banter came true on all three counts.

The race was dominated by long runs, and for the second time in Kyle Busch’s 14-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, he won three consecutive races.

Busch, who started the race from 32nd position, said it was a team effort.

I wasn't sure we were going to have any dominance. But we certainly put ourselves in position all night long to have that opportunity and that chance to go out there and win the race, thanks to our pit crew. The guys did an amazing job the last two pit stops. They got us out front where we needed to be. They got us the lead."

Despite winning at a track where the boos often outnumber the cheers, Busch climbed into the grandstands after winning the race.

Don't worry, I was definitely eyeing it out, like who's there, who's there, who's there,” Busch said jokingly in the media center after the race. “I saw a lot of 18 stuff, so I just decided to go up there, get some guys and some kids some high fives, what's ups. Fortunately I got back out of there. They held onto me for a second, then my brute strength ripped me out of their arms and brought me back to civilization on the racetrack."

The win was Busch’s 46th victory in 471 MENCS races, tying Buck Baker for 15th on the Cup Series all-time win list. This is Busch’s third victory and eighth top-10 finish this season. At Richmond, this is Busch’s fifth victory and 19th top-10 finish in 26 races.

Rounding out the top-10 finishers at the Toyota Owners 400 were Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez.

Kyle Busch goes into next week’s race in Talladega Superspeedway as the points leader, 56 points ahead of Joey Logano.

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