Busch battle: Kyle beats Kurt at Bristol

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Kyle Busch was in the race Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, so of course, he won.

Busch grabbed his third Cup win of the season, eighth overall at Bristol, and 10th this year spanning all three of NASCAR's national series. He beat his older brother, who said if given the chance in Sunday's race, he'd have wrecked him so that Kurt Busch was the one celebrating in victory lane.

"He told me in victory lane and I told him 'You can't tell people you're going to wreck them before you do it because when roles are reversed that person is going to wreck you because you already told them you were going to wreck them,'" Kyle Busch said. "So I guess if I'm ever running second to Kurt, I'm going to wreck him. I'm glad it didn't turn out that way."

The Busch brothers lined up side-by-side on the final restart, but Kurt Busch had nothing to slow Kyle Busch's steamrolling of the competition this year. They'd inherited the lead as the first in line not to pit for tires during the 11th caution, and it set up a final shootout between Bristol's two winningest active drivers. "He gave it one hell of a fight," Kyle Busch said. "Busch and Bristol, sounds familiar."

Kurt Busch is a six-time winner at the .533-mile high-banked oval and lamented the loss over the P.A. system. When he said he would have wrecked Kyle Busch, the crowd roared.

The wins go to Kyle Busch, seemingly all the time this season, in anything he drives. Along with teammate Denny Hamlin, they've given Joe Gibbs Racing five wins through the first eight races. If a Gibbs car doesn't win, then a Ford from Team Penske has.

The win was probably going to go to either Penske driver Brad Keselowski or Joey Logano until a late caution forced teams to choose. They could go in for tires or stay on track and try to maintain their position for the final 13 laps. The leaders — Logano and Keselowski — went to pit road, while Busch and his big brother moved to the front of the field.

"It was a no brainer for us," said crew chief Adam Stevens. "We were just going to take our chances. I didn't think we would inherit the lead. That made it a little bit easier on us."

Kyle Busch and his brother have combined to win the last four Cup races at Bristol, and Kyle Busch has 22 total wins at the track.


Another short track, Saturday night at Richmond Raceway. Kyle Busch won last year in a streak of three consecutive Cup victories.