William Byron beats Paul Menard in duel to win Xfinity race at Indianapolis

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In his first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, William Byron outdueled Paul Menard in the closing laps to win the Xfinity Series’ Lilly Diabetes 250.

The 19-year-old is the youngest NASCAR driver to win at the 2.5-mile track. It is the rookie’s third win.

Fighting a tire vibration, Byron led the final 16 laps. He beat Menard, Joey Logano, Elliott Sadler and Cole Custer to the win.

The victory comes three weeks after Byron also won at Daytona International Speedway.

“I just have to thank God, it’s amazing to be here,” Byron told NBCSN at the start-finish line. “I got a lot of great people around me. This is very humbling to be at Indianapolis and win. I can’t believe that tire held on.”

Byron led 26 laps in a race that saw a track-record 16 lead changes among eight drivers, the result of a new package that includes restrictor plates.

“We had vibrations for probably the last 20 laps or so, and it kind of leveled off,” Byron said. “I’m not a tire expert, so I was just trying to think about what it would do. It held on, and I’m thankful for that.”

Stage 1 winner: William Byron

Stage 2 winner: Elliott Sadler

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Paul Menard finished second for his best result of the year. His previous best in five starts was seventh at Michigan … Elliott Sadler led 22 laps from the pole and finished fourth for his eighth top five of the season … Cole Custer finished fifth for his third top five … Kyle Busch, who won the last two Indy Xfinity races, finished 12th after leading 44 laps. He pitted from the lead with 18 to go because of concern for tire wear.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Tyler Reddick was eliminated on Lap 38 after plowing through the grass in Turn 4 to avoid an accident with Ryan Sieg and Spencer Gallagher. Reddick finished 37th with his second DNF of the year. … Justin Allgaier finished 35th after multiple mishaps on pit road, including hitting his jack man (who was uninjured) and later leaving his pit box while his right-front tire was being removed, which caused severe damage to his No. 7 car.

NOTABLE: Byron’s win snaps Busch’s streak of four straight NASCAR wins at Indianapolis over the Xfinity and Cup series … Erik Jones‘ No. 20 Toyota had one unsecured lug nut following the race.

QUOTE OF HE DAY: “They wanted to slow down the fastest guy here so the rest of the field could keep up and they did.’’ – Kyle Busch

WHAT’S NEXT: U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC on July 29.

Points leader Elliott Sadler clinches Xfinity playoff spot after finishing third at Bristol

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Even though he hasn’t won this year, Elliott Sadler earned himself a spot in the Xfinity Series playoffs Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Sadler is the fourth driver to qualify for the playoffs. He joins Ryan Reed, William Byron and Justin Allgaier, who clinched spots through race wins.

The JR Motorsports driver and the series points leader finished third in the Food City 300 for his ninth top five of the year.

“Man, we had a great car,” Sadler told NBCSN. “I hit the wall with like 50 to go. Then I threw my water bottle out and it got in the jack man’s way, messed us up. We’re peaking at the right time.”

Sadler has led the Xfinity Series point standings for the last 10 races and following 20 of the 22 races this year.

Following Sadler in the top five is William Byron (-110), Allgaier (-136), Brennan Poole (-186) and Daniel Hemric (-206).

Brendan Gaughan is on the playoff bubble. He is 43 points above the cutoff line. Ross Chastain is 13th on the playoff grid.

Click here for the point standings.

Results, stats for the Xfinity Series race at Bristol

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Kyle Busch won the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway for his fifth Xfinity Series win of the year.

He led 186 laps and swept all three stages.

Completing the top five were Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier.

Click here for full results.

Kyle Busch wins Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway


Kyle Busch once again dominated a NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway, winning Friday night’s Food City 300.

Busch led 186 laps on the way to the win, his fifth Xfinity Series victory of the season.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver fended off the field in a nine-lap shootout following a late caution.

The top five was completed by Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier.

Busch moved one step closer to a sweep of the race week. He won Wednesday’s Camping World Truck Series race. If he wins Saturday’s Cup race, it will be the second time he’s swept all three Bristol races after doing it in 2010.

Just like Wednesday, Busch fought through the field after a mid-race speeding penalty to earn the win.

“At least I didn’t have to come through (the field) in the last stage because everybody was pretty fast there tonight in the last stage,” Busch said. “I don’t know if I would have been able to make it all the way back up through there. Suárez gave us a heck of a run there. I was trying to push hard and he was closing in on us a little bit there before that last caution came out. Once that caution came out everything cooled down and my car wasn’t even close to what it was before, so I don’t know how I held on to it. The car was just so sideways.”

The win is Busch’s 91st in the Xfinity Series.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Busch

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Busch

MORE: Race Results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Allgaier led twice for 75 laps and earned his sixth top five of the season … Sadler led once for 15 laps and clinched a spot in the playoffs … Ty Dillon earned his second top five of the season and beset finish in 19 starts … Joey Logano bounced back from a flat tire and going to two laps down to finish ninth.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: Ryan Reed and Aric Almirola wrecked on Lap 25 after they pinched Spencer Gallagher on the backstretch. Almirola finished 38th. … Reed caused the following caution after damage from the previous wreck cut a tire, sending him into the wall. Reed finished 37th … Brendan Gaughan had one unscheduled pit stop for a tire rub. He was then involved in a crash with 15 to go after being tagged by Jeb Burton, who had lost a tire. He finished 30th … William Byron lost a tire with less than 10 to go and had to pit. He finished 22nd.

NOTABLE: With his win, Busch is nine wins away from reaching 100 Xfinity wins. Busch has said he’ll retire from Xfinity competition once he reaches 100 … Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 13th in his first Xfinity start of the year.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Two weeks in a row. I know he doesn’t have a lot of race and I like him a lot normally, but right now I’m going to knock the hell out of him. The first time he gave me a flat and the second time he says he blew a tire. If you know you’ve got a tire going then don’t drive underneath somebody. The last couple of weeks I’ve been driven with no respect. We put ourselves back in a decent spot and we’re going to go to Road America and win that sucker.” – Brendan Gaughan after his late wreck with Jeb Burton.

NEXT: Johnsonville 180 at Road America at 3 p.m. ET on Aug. 27 on NBC.

Starting lineup for Cup night race at Bristol

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Erik Jones and Kyle Larson will start on the front row of the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC).

Jones starts from his first Cup pole.

Completing the top five are Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Matt Kenseth.

Click here for the starting lineup.