FORT WORTH, TX (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch is back in victory lane after winning the rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday.
Busch beat teammate Martin Truex Jr. by .486-seconds to pick up his first win of 2020 and 57th of his Cup Series Career.
“We haven’t been the best on mile-and-a-half’s this year but we’ve been working on it and strategizing on things that we can do to improve and it was nice to see some of that in that fruit pay off tonight,” said Busch.
Crew Chief Adam Stevens decided to make a strategy call and had Busch stretch his fuel mileage following the last pit stop to keep the No. 18 up front.
“We had to save fuel that entire last stage,” said Busch. “The beginning of the final stage, we were saving fuel there towards the end once Bowyer had to pit, and then after the pit stop, the entirety after the final pit stop I was saving fuel, as well, too. So there was a lot on my mind and things that we were trying to do and accomplish, obviously, with trying to stretch it.”
Truex meanwhile was full throttle trying to catch and pass Busch for the win, a win that would automatically put Truex into the Championship final in two weeks at Phoenix. Busch was eliminated from the NASCAR Playoffs a few weeks ago.
“A second place finish kind of gets overshadowed by not winning, and that’s unfortunate for our team and everybody involved in our team because they did a great job and worked really hard,” said Truex. “I felt like we had pretty much a flawless race. Just needed a tiny little bit more speed or a little bit more luck out there at the end with the 18 and fuel-wise.”
Truex is now in a must-win position this weekend at Martinsville Speedway if the No. 19 team wants to advance to the Championship finale.
“A must-win at any track, no matter how good you’ve been there in the past, I think is a challenge,” said Truex. “We’ve got to work hard this week to make sure we’re prepared. I know the guys have already been doing that, so definitely optimistic. It’s a good track for us, but it’s a short track and a lot can happen on restarts and things. We’ll go there and do the best job we can.”
Truex isn’t the only driver who is in a must-win situation heading into Martinsville. Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch are also currently below the cut-off to be eligible for the Championship based on points.
William Byron Wins NASCAR Cup Series Race At Homestead-Miami Speedway
HOMESTEAD, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Hendrick Motorsports William Byron picked up the win in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Byron led race-high 102 laps en route to his second career Cup Series victory.
“This car was just awesome,” said Byron, who credited his crew chief Rudy Fugle. “The track was super slick to start. We had to start pretty far back but made our way up and just had to keep adjusting on the car and kind of finding those little bits.”
Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick was chasing down Byron in final laps of the race but simply ran out of time to catch the leader.
“It’s beyond frustrating,” said Reddick. “2 or 3 different decisions on a restart would have put me miles ahead and I would have been in-reach (of Byron). 2nd’s great but I saw how much faster I was than those guys at the end so naturally it’s frustrating.”
Martin Truex Jr finished third followed by Kyle Larson in fourth and Kevin Harvick and in fifth.
“My balance got off their the last 40-laps or so,” said Truex. “So close.”
Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell finished sixth follow by Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman in seventh.
Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch finished eighth and his teammate Ross Chastain finished 17th.
The races featured 20-lead changes among 16-drivers and was slowed by 6-caution flags for 36-laps.
Myatt Snider Wins NASCAR Xfinity Race At Homestead Miami Speedway
HOMESTEAD, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Myatt Snider held off a hard-charging Tyler Reddick to win the Contender Boats 250 Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The victory was Snider’s NASCAR Xfinity Series win.
“It’s amazing to finally be in this position of having won a NASCAR Xfinity Series race,” said Snider.
Snider spun his tires on the first restart and Reddick got the lead before the eighth and final caution flag flew for AJ Allmendinger, who spun in Turn 1.
“I yelled ‘damn it’ to myself when they told me on the radio that Tyler was ahead of me,” Snider said after that restart. Snider made the most of the next restart.
“I guess I got a great second chance there,” said Snider. “I saw Tyler (Reddick) happened to do the same thing on the second restart, so I knew that if I could just lay as much power down as I could and get out ahead of everybody then I had a great chance.”
Reddick may have crossed the finish line second but that was short-lived as his car failed NASCAR’s post-race inspection because the ride height in the right rear measured too low.
Reddick’s penalty moved Brandon Jones up to second.
“Those restarts are crazy,” remarked Jones. “That’s a big one there at the end, getting your tires picked up and trying to regroup and you’re going three or four-wide.”
Daniel Hemric finished third with Jeb Burton and Austin Cindric rounding out the top 5.
Snider beat Reddick by .085-seconds. The race featured 20-lead changes among 11-drivers. There were 8-caution flags for 42-laps. The average speed of the race was 103.72 MPH.
Chip Ganassi Fined And Suspended By NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Team owner Chip Ganassi ended up on the NASCAR penalty report following this weekend’s events at Daytona International Speedway.
Ganassi was fined $30,000 and suspended from the next NASCAR Cup Series Championship Points Event which is Sunday at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Ganassi violated section 12.8.1.b of the NASCAR Rule Book “for bringing into the competition area a non-essential individual that was restricted from the footprint”, essentially brining someone not authorized inside the ‘bubble’ which part of the sanctioning body’s COVID-19 protocol.
Chip Ganassi Racing will be permitted to enter their cars, the No. 1 Monster Energy/Gearwrench Chevrolet driven by Kurt Busch and the No. 42 McDonald/Clover Camaro driven by Ross Chastain, in the event.