Kyle Busch wins Quaker State 400
Kyle Busch’s return to NASCAR was marked with another victory at Quaker State 400 where he scored his 31st career win. The 267 laps long race began 7:45pm ET with Kyle Larson on pole, but in the first lap, Brad Keselowski overtook him for the lead, dropping Larson to third. On lap 20, the first caution flag flew when J.J. Yeley got loose and hit Josh Wise, sending him into the wall. During the period, no leaders decided to pit. On lap 24, the race restarted and scheduled caution period flew on lap 31 and Kyle Busch got to the lead by taking right tires only, while Keselowski opted for all four, restarting eleventh. On lap 36, the race restarted, but managed to drive through the traffic and return to second. On lap 72, Denny Hamlin had to make an unscheduled pit stop due to a blown tire and was served a drive through penalty for speeding, so he had to restart in 40th position with two laps down. On lap 80, debris caused a yellow and the race restarted on lap 89.
On lap 93, Busch started suffering attacks from Keselowski and finally gave way on lap 96. On lap 99, Kurt Busch got loose, spinning and causing a yellow. On lap 105, the race restarted, but the next caution flew on lap 122 when Yeley brushed against the wall. Kyle Busch exited the pits on first, while Keselowski dropped to tenth upon exiting. On lap 129, the race restarted, but the caution flew again shortly after when Dale Jr. had a blown tire which sent him to the wall. On lap 141, the race restarted again, but was yellow flagged shortly after on lap 143. for a collision between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Jeb Burton. On lap 147, the race restarted, but was yellow flagged again for debris. That’s when Keselowski gave up his second place again and went to the pits. On lap 157, the race restarted again.
Thirty laps later, on lap 187, the caution flew for debris again and Ryan Newman went to the lead while opting not to pit. Keselowski had an air gun malfunction and lost time again. When the race restarted on lap 192, Newman couldn’t stand a chance, losing his lead to Kyle Busch. On lap 206, another yellow flag flew when Dale Jr. bumped Danica Patrick, sending her into the wall, leaving her furious at him. During the caution period, Denny Hamlin emerged from the pits as the new leader.
With 55 laps to go, the race restarted and with 54, Carl Edwards took the lead. However, as he lost control in turn 1, Hamlin took back the lead in the next lap. With 50 to go, Kyle Busch was in the lead again and with 48 to go, Kyle Larson hit the wall, causing a yellow. After the race restarted, Joey Logano took the lead with 42 laps to go and held it until 18 laps to go, when Kyle Busch made a move, driving away from him and into victory in his Toyota. Denny Hamlin finished third, Carl Edwards was on fourth and Matt Kenseth ended the race in fifth. Behind the top five were Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch. After the race, Kyle Busch propelled to 35th overall, significantly increasing his Chase chances.