Kyle Busch wins Xfinity event at Atlanta, takes first step toward a tripleheader sweep

2 Comments

It’s one down, two to go for Kyle Busch this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The younger Busch brother is one-third of the way to a weekend sweep, capturing Saturday’s Rinnai 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 1.54-mile oval in Hampton, Georgia.

Shortly after celebrating in victory lane, Busch was scheduled to climb into a truck and go for a second win in the afternoon’s Active Pest Control 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

MORE: Results of Xfinity Series race at Atlanta

MORE: Xfinity points standings after Atlanta, Elliott Sadler moves into lead

The 2015 NASCAR Cup champ then hopes to wrap things up with a third weekend win in Sunday’s main event, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

It was Busch’s 87th career victory in the Xfinity Series and his second consecutive win in NASCAR’s junior series at AMS, having earned his first Xfinity win at AMS last year.

“Pretty proud to put ourselves in Victory Lane here once again,” Busch said. “It took me so long to get here to begin with, and now we won two in a row. That feels really good. … What else can I say? We just keep knocking them out of the park here in the Xfinity Series. But we love it, and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Brad Keselowski finished second in the Xfinity event, followed by Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Darrell Wallace Jr., rookie William Byron, Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric and Cole Custer.

There were six lead changes and five cautions in the scheduled 163-lap event.

STAGE 1 (Laps 1-40) WINNER: Brad Keselowski

STAGE 2 (Laps 41-80) WINNER: Kevin Harvick

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Elliott Sadler was the highest-finishing Xfinity Series regular (fifth place). Other Xfinity regulars with good finishes were Darrell Wallace Jr. (sixth), who overcame early contact with the wall, and rookie William Byron (seventh).

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Blake Koch’s rough weekend came to an early end in last place after a Lap 2 crash. Kock piled into Ty Dillon, who appeared to lose a left-rear tire in the first turn. … Jordan Anderson also lasted just two laps before his day came to an abrupt end.

NOTABLE: Brendan Gaughan recovered from a late Stage 2 incident to finish 13th. On the other hand, Denny Hamlin was unable to recover much from a Stage 2 spin and finished 20th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “To get second is (like) kissing your sister, but it is still better than nothing, I guess.” – Second-place finisher Brad Keselowski.

WHAT’S NEXT: March 11, Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR America: Is there cause for concern with Jimmie Johnson’s performance thus far?

Leave a comment

It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.

The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.

He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.

And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?

NASCAR America: Mark Martin is definitely a Kyle Larson fan

Getty Images
Leave a comment

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching  Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson involved in minor fender bender while leaving Fontana

Leave a comment

Kyle Larson‘s spectacular weekend at Auto Club Speedway — winning both Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup event — left him feeling good.

But shortly upon exiting the facility, Larson and several others were involved in a fender-bender right outside the Speedway. Larson was a passenger, not the driver.

No one was injured, Larson tweeted.

But somehow, isn’t that strange fate?

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson’s Fontana win shows continued maturing as a driver

Leave a comment

Kyle Larson finally broke his streak of three straight runner-up finishes with his win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, the crew discussed his win as well as his maturation as a driver.