NASCAR round-up: Both Busch brothers win, Hill takes Truck victory

( Kurt Busch outdueled his younger brother Kyle Busch in the pair’s fourth career 1-2 finish to secure his 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs position and take his 33rd career victory in Sunday’s Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart.

Busch, 42, has been particularly good at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sunday’s win was his fourth there, most among the current field, and the last trophy given before the historic NASCAR track is repaved and reconfigured going forward.

More importantly Sunday’s work was a big statement for Busch, who started the race with only a 25-point buffer in the championship standings with six races left to set the 16-driver playoffs field. Now with the win, he’s “in,” and his emotions climbing out of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 1 Chevrolet certainly reflected the relief and joy.

Kyle’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. finished third, rallying from a 37th-place starting position. Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman was fourth followed by Penske Racing’s Ryan Blaney, who won at Atlanta this March.

Tyler Reddick, Georgia native Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Matt DiBenedetto and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top 10.

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( Kyle Busch earned his record 102nd NASCAR Xfinity Series race victory Saturday afternoon in the Credit Karma Money 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway — taking the checkered flag in overtime to top a perfect 5-for-5 record in Xfinity starts this season.

The winningest driver in series history proclaimed Saturday‘s work to be his final curtain call, the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion saying he would no longer compete in the Xfinity Series.

Kaulig Racing‘s Jeb Burton finished second to Busch by .550 seconds, followed by JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson, who was leading the field to green after a caution period in the middle of the race only to have to drop into the pits to repair a punctured tire just before a restart. He was 31st at the time and rallied all the way to third. It was his best showing since a runner-up finish at Martinsville in early April — 12 races ago.

Burton‘s Kaulig teammate Justin Haley finished fourth and Ty Dillon earned his best showing of the season with a fifth-place run. Brett Moffitt, Justin Allgaier, Jeremy Clements, rookie Sam Mayer and championship leader Austin Cindric rounded out the top 10.

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( At the end of a remarkable race on an equally remarkable race track, Austin Hill took home the trophy in Friday night‘s Corn Belt 150 presented by Premier Chevy Dealers at Knoxville Raceway.

After a fourth attempt at overtime in the inaugural NASCAR Truck Series event at the iconic .5-mile dirt track, Hill scored his first victory of the season in a race that featured 14 cautions and a 17-car pileup in Turn 1 that could rival even the biggest “Big One” at Talladega.

After a Lap 171 restart—the third-overtime—Hill nosed ahead of Chandler Smith, who had done yeoman work on old tires and led seven times for a race-high 71 laps.

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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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