Kyle Busch almost added another win to his Bristol Motor Speedway resume on Sunday, but had to settle for a runner-up finish in the Food City 500. Kasey Kahne took home the victory from Bristol, while Brad Keselowsk, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five.
Busch, in the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, had to battle back from an early-race pit road speeding penalty. “It was a good run for us battling back from our pit road penalty which we need to stop,” said Busch. “If we didn't have so many of those, we'd be a lot better off. Being able to work on our car further up front, there's a difference when you run back in traffic. All in all we battled back. Crew chief made some good calls. Pit crew did a good job on pit road. You got to hustle it and drive hard out on the racetrack, especially after restarts, get what you can get…I wish I could have kept up with the 5, but he took off, left us all”.
Denny Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota, was once again the center of controversy, first for a few on-track run-ins with former JGR driver Joey Logano and, at the end of the race, for not maintaining speed after hitting the wall; Hamlin was using the outside wall to turn the car and was unable to get to pit road. Logano and Hamlin tangled on Lap 348, and the incident led to a post-race exchange between Logano, Hamlin and members of Hamlin’s crew. The battle later moved on to Twitter. Hamlin was credited with a 23rd-place finish.
Matt Kenseth, in the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota, was the innocent bystander when Jeff Gordon blew a right front tire on Lap 391, crossing directly in front of Kenseth on his way to the outside wall. Kenseth came home 35th.
In points, Hamlin slipped two spots to sixth, while Busch moved up seven spots to 10th; Kenseth dropped six spots, back to 13th. Keselowski leads Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson at the top of the standings.
The Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series return to the track next weekend, March 22nd through 24th, at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Follow the action at www.nascar.com and joegibbsracing.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR Media.
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