Kyle Busch scores first superspeedway win in 15 years
A McLaren car has technically won a race in 2023.
In his maiden race with sponsorship from McLaren Custom Grills (no relation to that McLaren), Kyle Busch secured his first NASCAR Cup Series victory at Talladega Superspeedway and on such tracks since 2008. He battled with Bubba Wallace for much of the overtime restart and Wallace seemed to have the momentum on the outside as he received a push from his friend Ryan Blaney, only for Wallace to make too aggressive of a block and trigger a five-car wreck that collected himself.
Busch inched ahead of Blaney on the inside to assume the lead when the caution came out to end the race. Interestingly, all three of Busch’s superspeedway wins in the Cup Series came after the races ended under yellow.
“Last time I won here, fifteen years ago, my first year with JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing). Here we are with my first year in RCR (Richard Childress Racing) being able to get back into Victory Lane at Talladega,” commented Busch. “It’s been a little bit.
“We were obviously short on fuel, kind of stretching it. I don’t think we would have taken that chance, I probably wouldn’t have taken that chance of staying out but for the win in Fontana. That opened up our playbook, gave us a chance to be up front, restart up front and go for a win today.
“Just being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes you got to be lucky.”
Blaney had led a race-high forty-seven laps but the late carnage and nature of superspeedway racing prevented him from clinching victory. As multi-car wrecks mounted in the third stage, fuel mileage became a major concern among the field as many elected to stay out instead of pit for gas prior to overtime. This move ultimately bit Ty Gibbs, who was fighting with Blaney with twenty laps to go, when he ran out coming to the restart.
Gibbs was among nine retirements, with everyone else being taken out in the string of Stage #3 crashes. One of the victims was Blaney’s team-mate Joey Logano, who got shuffled out of line with twenty laps remaining and bumped by Corey LaJoie to trigger seven-car accident. An even bigger crash occurred on the ensuing restart when Ross Chastain attempted to force himself into a three-abreast battle for the lead with Blaney and Noah Gragson but instead collided with Gragson, who was shot up the track.
The crash culminated in Kyle Larson sliding off the racing surface before coming back into the oncoming path of Ryan Preece, and the ensuing T-bone was so destructive that it shot Larson’s door bar up and sheared off part of his passenger’s side door. Said bar is typically covered by a metal plate intended to protect the cockpit from fire but is not built for such high-speed collisions.
Larson’s car was eventually taken to NASCAR’s Research & Development Centre for further evaluation.
|1||17||8||Kyle Busch||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|2||5||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||196||Running|
|3||10||17||Chris Buescher||RFK Racing||Ford||196||Running|
|4||4||14||Chase Briscoe||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||196||Running|
|5||20||6||Brad Keselowski||RFK Racing||Ford||196||Running|
|6||24||43||Erik Jones||Legacy Motor Club||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|7||18||24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|8||6||20||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||196||Running|
|9||22||99||Daniel Suárez||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|10||28||36||Todd Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||196||Running|
|11||38||51||J.J. Yeley*||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||196||Running|
|12||29||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|13||27||48||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|14||32||77||Ty Dillon||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|15||33||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|16||13||45||Tyler Reddick||23XI Racing||Toyota||196||Running|
|17||1||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||196||Running|
|18||37||78||B.J. McLeod||Live Fast Motorsports||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|19||26||31||Justin Haley||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|20||36||15||Riley Herbst*||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||196||Running|
|21||11||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||196||Running|
|22||2||10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||196||Running|
|23||23||1||Ross Chastain||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|24||31||62||Austin Hill*||Beard Motorsports||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|25||34||7||Corey LaJoie||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||196||Running|
|26||15||2||Austin Cindric||Team Penske||Ford||196||Running|
|27||7||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||196||Running|
|28||12||23||Bubba Wallace||23XI Racing||Toyota||195||Accident|
|29||19||16||A.J. Allmendinger||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||195||Accident|
|30||8||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||195||Running|
|31||3||54||Ty Gibbs||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||194||Fuel|
|32||30||42||Noah Gragson||Legacy Motor Club||Chevrolet||189||Accident|
|33||9||5||Kyle Larson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||189||Accident|
|34||16||41||Ryan Preece||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||189||Accident|
|35||21||34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||189||Running|
|36||25||21||Harrison Burton||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||183||Accident|
|37||35||38||Zane Smith*||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||141||Accident|
|38||14||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||141||Accident|
* – Ineligible for points