NCS: Birthday boy Busch celebrates weekend sweep in Kansas

(MRN.com) Perhaps it was birthday fate. When the name of the race is the Buschy McBusch Race 400, your name is Kyle Busch and it’s your 36th birthday, you have to figure there’s some serious racing juju in your favor. And Busch took advantage of it.

Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota took the lead on a restart with two laps remaining and held off the field by .336 seconds Sunday at Kansas Speedway to give him his first NASCAR Cup Series win of the season – 58th of his career – and new crew chief Ben Beshore the first win of his career.

It completed a weekend trophy sweep for Busch, who won Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, too.

It was a dramatic ending to what had been largely a Kyle Larson show up front all day. The Hendrick Motorsports driver led a race-best 132 of the 267 laps. But he got shuffled back to the second row on the last restart and had contact with Ryan Blaney’s front-row running Ford after taking the final green flag. The two cars slid up and bounced into the wall and out of the groove, allowing Busch to take off with the help of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. pushing from behind.

Ultimately the Fords driven by Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski – on fresher tires – chased down Truex on the last lap to claim second and third place behind Busch. Keselowski, last week’s Talladega winner, led a season-best 72 of the opening 80 laps.

Matt DiBenedetto was fourth and reigning series champion Chase Elliott finished fifth. Truex was sixth, followed by Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher, William Byron and Austin Dillon.

Larson, looking to claim his second victory of the season was disappointed after the race. He finished 19th after leading the most laps on the afternoon.

For a complete recap of the race, follow this link.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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