The Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway on Saturday turned into a battle of Kyle versus Kyle in the closing laps, with all-time Nationwide Series wins leader Kyle Busch taking the win, his fifth in series competition at Bristol to move into a tie with Kevin Harvick for most all-time Nationwide wins at Bristol.
"Still trying to figure out how I won it," Busch said to crew chief Adam Stevens over the radio right after the checkered flag.
Kyle Larson, in only his fourth-career series start, finished second.
The margin between first and second was the second-smallest, ever, in Nationwide competition at Bristol.
"Wish it was a little easier on my end," Busch said.
Harvick, meanwhile, finished fifth after a decision to give up second spot to head down pit road for fresh tires during a caution that came out with 35 laps to go in the 300-lap race.
Drivers including race pole sitter Justin Allgaier, Brad Keselowski, Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith also spent time up front. Allgaier led the way until Bayne and Brian Scott took only two tires during a caution around lap 60 to get off pit road first and second. On lap 76, though, Busch moved into the lead, and Smith took second soon after.
Keselowski moved into second when he and Busch stayed out during a caution that came out on lap 106. Busch was able to hold Keselowski off, but when the yellow flag waved just past the halfway point of the race, Keselowski got out of the pits before Busch to assume the lead. On the restart, Smith got by Busch for second.
Smith made contact with Keselowski, trying to pass him for the lead in lap 188. The contact allowed Harvick to move past Smith to take second. A few laps later, Keselowski blew a tire because of damage to his car from the contact with Smith and Harvick inherited the lead with Busch in second.
Busch got by Harvick for the top spot with 64 laps to go. As the two raced side-by-side, Larson gained on them from the third position. Larson moved into second when Harvick pitted during a caution with 35 laps to go.
"We got a long run there, and I was catching them and I didn't know what I was going to do when I caught them," Larson said.
As Harvick battled back from and eighth-place restart, Busch and Larson raced for the lead. Busch maintained the top-spot the rest of the way, moving to the bottom of the race track when he and Larson encountered slower lap traffic on the final lap.
"I just did everything I could to protect the momentum, and I knew the No. 70 (Brad Teague) was going to be slow up top," Busch said.
Larson was able to get by the lap traffic, though, and get up side-by-side with Busch at the checkered flag. Busch won by a fender.
Brian Vickers finished third, points leader Sam Hornish Jr. was fourth, and Harvick gained three positions in the final laps to finish fifth.