Kurt Busch has a winning pass by his brother in the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second and last time this season. The track just recently announced that it will undergo a repave and reconfiguration for the 2022 season. This is the first time the track will be repaved in over twenty years. For the last decade, the track developed its true character as being one of the most abrasive racing surfaces on the schedule. With the repave on the horizon, Sunday’s race will be the final time drivers will slide around Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Chase Elliott on the Pole and the Busch Duel Begins
Chase Elliott rides into Sunday’s start with the pole position. Fourteen laps into the start, Chase Elliott was overtaken by Kyle Busch. Busch was able to lead into the competition caution on lap 25.
Shortly after the ensuing restart, a four-car caution occurred involving Daniel Suarez and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. After the cleanup, Kyle Busch continued out front with Kurt Busch following in second place. Kurt was not able to reach his brother as the rest of the first segment ran green. Kyle Busch won the opening stage with no issues.
The Elder Busch Prevails in the Second Stage
Kurt Busch won the race off pit road to begin the second stage with the lead. With rain on the radar, all drivers scrambled for track position. Green flag stops began to cycle midway through the stage.
Kurt Busch cycled back into the lead, as the rain began to fall. NASCAR officials let the race run green with a reported dry track. Kurt Busch drove through the lapped traffic and won the second stage.
Kurt Busch has a Winning Pass by his Brother at Atlanta
As the radar cleared up, teams geared up for the dash to the finish. Kurt Busch remained in the lead as the race returned to green. The field cycled to pit road once more as the entirety of the final stage ran green.
Kyle Busch cycled in front of Kurt and held a half-second lead over his older brother. Kurt did let him slip away. In the closing laps, Kyle crept up on lapped traffic.
Unfortunately for Kyle, it was Ross Chastain, Kurt’s teammate. Chastain blocked Kyle from getting by and allowed Kurt to catch up and pass Kyle in turn three. Kurt Busch took the lead with 23 laps remaining, and this was all he needed. Kurt Busch punches his ticket into the playoffs and wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
This win for Kurt Busch throws a big wrench into the playoff picture. With five races left in the regular season, only four playoff spots are remaining. Plus, the schedule does not get any easier. Two road courses remain on the schedule, with the regular-season finale being at Daytona International Speedway.
Road courses and superspeedways are known for being places for drivers to win for the first time. We could see something pan out where veteran drivers like Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin miss the playoffs for not winning a race. Despite sitting in the playoffs right now based on points, both drivers are looking to find their first win on the year. Both know that heading into Daytona needing a win is not ideal.