Kyle Busch Outduels his Brother for the Food City 500 Victory

Kyle Busch led 71 laps en route to winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway Photo – Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series went racing at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Food City 500. This 500-lap race was an intense battle with multiple lead changes. Two teams, including Team Penske have continued to lead the way as Kyle Busch relishes being at the top for Joe Gibbs Racing with a hot start to the season. Look for him to keep it going heading into the next four races and the mid-point of the season.

Chase Elliott was the pole-sitter on Sunday and controlled the race during the early going. Elliott caught up to some lapped traffic and Ryan Preece cut a tire right in front of Elliott. This caused Elliott to spin bringing out the first caution. Denny Hamlin restarted the race from the point, and it was a three-way battle with Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones. Blaney won the battle and led the majority of stage one. However, Daniel Hemric brought out a caution with eight laps left in the stage. Hemric spun around after he was bumped by the No. 15 car of Ross Chastain. Clint Bowyer and Ty Dillon stayed out under caution while everyone else came down pit road for service. On the ensuing restart, Dillon beat Bowyer and took the race lead. Dillon won the first stage of the race.

Brad Keselowski restarted the second stage in first place but was beat by his teammate, Joey Logano. Logano battled continuously to hold his race lead and was able to set the pace in stage two. With 36 laps left in the stage Chase Elliott turned the 36 car of Matt Tifft around. After pitting, Logano was able to continue to lead the rest of the stage for the win.

The final stage of this race consisted of multiple debris cautions and a few wrecks, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney were in a constant battle for the lead. After swapping for the lead multiple times, a caution came out with 68 laps left in the race. Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott both slid up the track into the outside wall. After this caution, it was Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski fighting for the top spot. Keselowski was able to take control of the race lead, but another caution came out with 23 laps left involving Kyle Larson. The ensuing restart was a battle of the Busch brothers. Kyle Busch ran out in front, but Kurt Busch did not leave him alone. Both brothers went at it for the final twenty laps in the race. However, after Kurt Busch slid into the outside wall a few times, Kyle Busch was able to separate himself and went on to win the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Sunday’s win marks Kyle Busch’s third win of the season, and to no surprise, he has been a factor to be dealt with in every race. The sport has seen this occur over the years, but in years past, it has taken Kyle Busch awhile to win his first race of the year. Now he has three race victories out of the eight total races. Last year it took Busch five races until he won on the sixth race of the season. This year’s start to the season for is the hottest for Busch in a while. He has shown he can win in a variety of ways and that he can lead wire to wire or be the first to the checkered flag by having a more strategic race. The question is whether he can continue to stay fast for the longevity of the season. Last Year, Kevin Harvick had a fast start to the season, but tapered off late in the season. It is a long season, and there are always drivers who shine late in the year that were not a factor early in the season.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will head to Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400. After this race, the series will take the week off for the holiday weekend approaching. This will be the last short-track race before the series will return to some normalcy; racing on speedways. With the All-Star break quickly approaching in the middle of May, many drivers prefer to lock in their playoff position with a win before the break.

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