Busch dominates all four stages of Coca-Cola 600 in making history

Busch dominates all four stages of Coca-Cola 600 in making history
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Joey Logano loses control in Turn 4, but skillfully avoids other cars and the wall. Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

By David Rogers. May 27, 2018. CONCORD, NC — A late charge through the field by Martin Truex, Jr. and the #78 car was too little, too late. Kyle Busch (#18) won all four stages of Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway — and etched a place in NASCAR history in the process.

COVER IMAGE: Pit crews rush to make adjustments, change tires and refuel Kyle Larson’s #42 car. Photographic image by David Scearce for Blowing Rock News

TWO SLIDESHOWS AT BOTTOM

The odds weren’t with him, but Busch defied them.  Busch had led the most laps in a Cup Series race nine times previously but only emerged victorious on three of those occasions. With Sunday’s win he is four for ten — and is the only driver in the modern era (since 1972) to have won at every track in NASCAR’s version of the “major leagues.”  The Las Vegas native’s fourth victory in 2018 and tenth top-10 finish leaves him 67 points ahead of second place Joey Logano in the driver point standings.

With Busch, Truex, and Denny Hamlin at their respect wheels, Toyota swept the top three places. Busch was the odds-on favorite going into the start of the race after winning the pole position on Thursday and posting the fastest lap times in practice.

kyle busch
Kyle Busch dominated from start to finish. Photographic image by David Scearce for Blowing Rock News

Logano, driving the #22 for Penske Motorsports lost control on lap 22 in Turn 4, but still managed to stay on the lead lap while avoiding serious damage to other cars — and preventing himself from crashing into the wall.  After starting second, fell to 22nd at the end. Jimmie Johnson (#48), Hamlin (#11), Daniel Suarez (#19) and Erik Jones (#20) were near-victims of Logano’s spinout.

Truex overcame two penalties while finishing second, both infractions occurring just after the start of Stage 3,  After driving into second place with about 70 laps to go, the defending NASCAR Monster Energy Cup champion narrowed his deficit from almost seven seconds back to slightly more than three and a half seconds. This was Truex’s tenth top-10 finish in 26 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

After failing inspection before qualifying on Thursday, Kevin Harvick was forced to start from near the back of the pack. Impressively, he was carving his way through the field until his left front tire blew on lap 83 — to end his night after veering abruptly into the outside wall.

 

FINAL RESULTS

  1. Kyle Busch, Toyota
  2. Jack Rousch, a new inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, spoke with media before the race. Photographic image by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

    Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota

  3. Denny Hamlin, Toyota
  4. Brad Keselowski, Ford
  5. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
  6. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet
  7. Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
  8. Kurt Busch, Ford
  9. Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
  10. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ford
  11. Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
  12. Clint Bowyer, Ford
  13. Aric Almirola, Ford
  14. Paul Menard, Ford
  15. Daniel Saurez, Toyota
  16. Darrell Waltrip, Jr., Chevrolet
  17. Matt Kenseth, Ford
  18. Michael McDowell, Ford
  19. Erik Jones, Toyota
  20. Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet
  21. Ty Dillon, Chevrolet
  22. Boogity, Boogity, Boogity — Restart! Photographic image by David Scearce for Blowing Rock News

    Joey Logano, Ford

  23. A J Allmendinger, Chevrolet
  24. Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
  25. David Ragan, Ford
  26. Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet
  27. Parker Kligerman, Toyota
  28. Landan Cassell, Chevrolet
  29. Chris Buescher, Chevrolet
  30. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet
  31. Gray Gaulding, Toyota
  32. Timmy Hill, Toyota
  33. B J McLeod, Chevrolet
  34. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
  35. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet
  36. Ryan Blaney, Ford
  37. Matt DiBenedetto, Ford
  38. J J Yeley, Chevrolet
  39. William Byron, Chevrolet
  40. Kevin Harvick, Ford

SLIDESHOW By David Scearce for Blowing Rock News

SLIDESHOW By David Rogers for Blowing Rock News

 

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