Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch finished fourth in Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway, leading the JGR Nationwide Series contingent after qualifying seventh for the event. It was Busch’s 16th top five finish in 19 Nationwide Series starts this season.
Busch, in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry, ran in the top 10 for much of the night, posting as high as second, in spite of handling an ill-handling race car throughout practice, qualifying and the race.
Matt Kenseth, who started on the outside pole in the No. 18 Reser’s Toyota, finished 35th after an accident on Lap 235. Kenseth, Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier and Sam Hornish Jr. were all battling for position and went into Turn three three-wide; Kenseth, closest to the wall, got the worst of the battle as he slammed the wall with the right side of his Camry, ending his night early.
“We shouldn’t have been back there to start with - on another restart I was out there on the outside and the 54 (Busch) just ran me up in the fence,” said Kenseth. “That’s what got us back there. Really disappointing. Feel bad for Reser’s and all our partners that made this happen. Matt (Lucas, crew chief) did a good job, pit crew did a great job and had us in a good position. Restarting on the outside was a disadvantage by itself and then when you get run up into the third and fourth groove then it’s hard to recover. Back there you knew it was going to be crazy.”
Brian Vickers, who started ninth in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, finished seventh after overcoming an early-race pit road speeding penalty.
“We screwed up on the start of the race - we had a car capable of winning and lost it,” said Vickers. “At the beginning the tach was set wrong or something, I’m not sure. We’ll find out what happened. It wasn’t even close. We were like seven miles per hour off on tach settings. Not really sure what the cause is, have to talk to the guys. That was a big screw up and cost us a lot of points and a chance at a win. We had a good car, a fast car. Didn’t have enough time to recover and then there at the end we just took fuel and got too tight. It was hard racing those guys, especially with new tires. We were just getting beat down the straightaways. We had a really good car - the guys did a good job, the pit stops were incredible all night and that kept us in the game.”
Elliott Sadler, who started 17th in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota, finished eighth in the Jack Ingram tribute ride, commemorating the 1,000th Nationwide Series race.
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