Kyle Busch overcomes early trouble to win Food City 500
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- After his car took a nasty bash to its rear end just a lap and a half into Sunday's Food City 500, it looked like Kyle Busch's bid to win his third race of the season was doomed. But you don't become NASCAR's career victory leader by giving up so early in a race.
The Las Vegas native and the winner of 203 races across NASCAR's three elite series battled back, took the lead for the first time with 117 laps to go, took it again by staying out on old tires during a caution with 20 laps to go and went on to win at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"We're crazy," Busch said when asked about the strategy to not pit for tires during the caution. "Pretty awesome to be able to snooker those guys (the drivers in front of him who did stop for tires) and be able to get our win today at Bristol. Love this place."
The victory was the 54th of Busch's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career. It was his eighth win at Bristol Motor Speedway's .533 mile short track.
To get the victory, Busch had to hold off older brother Kurt Busch, who was bidding to get his seventh win at Bristol and his first victory since moving to Chip Ganassi Racing for 2019.
Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney finished third and fourth, respectively, while Kyle Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin was fifth.
Ty Dillon of Germain Racing won Stage 1. It was the first stage win of his career. Defending series champion Logano of Team Penske won Stage 2 -- his third of the season.
Kyle Busch, ran into trouble on the second lap -- rather, trouble ran into him as he was rear-ended by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. when they accordioned behind a wreck. Busch, who has won twice and earned five podium finishes in seven races this season, and who is a seven-time Bristol winner, suffered major damage to his Toyota.
Busch's crew went to work, kept him on the lead lap and Busch drove back into the top five by the time the second stage began.