NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: Kyle Busch secures a place in a finale
Kyle Busch wins the First Data 500 at the Martinsville Speedway, the first race of the Round of 8 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. It’s Rowdy’s second win at the 0.526-mile short track, the fifth win this season and the 43rd Cup Series win in a career.
This victory secures a spot in the Championship 4 round at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19. Three more places are free and two more races are on a schedule before season’s finale.
Kyle Busch has won the race ahead of Cup Series points leader Martin Truex Jr., beating him by 0.141 at the finish line. Busch led the most laps (184) in a wild race which will be remembered mostly by Denny Hamlin/Chase Elliott clash three laps before the end of regular 500-lap distance. Hamlin dumped race-leading Elliott’s #24 Chevrolet in turn 3, causing the 11th caution and sending the race into overtime. One more final wreck followed behind Busch’s back at the end of the race, scrambling the final classification.
Clint bowyer finished third, ahead of Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Trevor Bayne. Denny Hamlin was seventh. On the cool-down lap after the race, Elliott pushed Hamlin’s Toyota into the outside wall. They also exchanged nice words when get out of the cars.
In the Playoffs standings, Truex Jr. is leading ahead of Kyle Busch. Brad Keselowski is third, ahead of Kevin Harvick. Positions from 5 to 8 are taken by Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott.
The next race is the AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway on November 5.