Kyle Busch dominates at Kentucky in Xfinity Series win


Kyle Busch dominated the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night for his fifth Xfinity Series win of 2016 and the 81st of his career.

Busch lost the lead to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones with 26 laps to go, but under the ensuing caution, Jones was moved to third for failing to maintain his position. Back in the lead, Busch held off a charging Daniel Suarez before the final caution flew with five laps to go. Busch then held off Austin Dillon in overtime.

“This is a great effort for this team, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, the chassis shop, the body shop, JGR engines, everything was really, really good about this racecar ever since we unloaded,” Busch told NBCSN in victory lane.

“NOS Energy drink Camry had really good speed and (crew chief) Chris Gayle and the guys did an awesome job. Each and every week this 18 car is always the best, always the one to beat. I think that’s a true testament to everyone at Toyota, everyone at TRD, and this Xfinity Series program.”

MORE: Stats and results of the Alsco 300

MORE: Daniel Suarez extends point lead at Kentucky

The win was the first Xfinity victory for Busch since Texas in April and he went unchallenged through much of the event after starting on the pole. It was the seventh overall win for the No. 18 team, which was victorious with Denny Hamlin and Sam Hornish Jr. earlier this year, and the 10th for the Joe Gibbs Racing organization.

Daniel Suarez finished third, Erik Jones finished fourth, and Darrell Wallace Jr. finished fifth.

HOW BUSCH WON: On a restart with two laps to go, Busch held off a charging Austin Dillon who got to the inside of the No. 18 in Turn 3 but couldn’t complete the move.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Ty Dillon recovered from a qualifying crash and a late speeding penalty for a seventh-place finish. … Brennan Poole used the late cautions to jump inside the top 10 and finished ninth.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Justin Allgaier went from running inside the top 10 to finishing 31st after breaking a drive plate. … Allgaier’s JR Motorsports teammate, Cole Custer, finished 32nd after colliding with Alex Guenette on pit road early in the event.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I fell back 20 feet from the pace car, no different than if you’re saving fuel and they put me to third place. I guess I gave it away.” — Erik Jones.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Xfinity Series will be back in action on Saturday, July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Lakes Region 200.

Follow @KellyCrandall

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

William Byron wins Cup pole at COTA


William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.

Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.

Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.

Sunday Cup race at Circuit of the Americas: Start time, TV info, weather


Is this Toyota’s weekend?

Chevrolet won the first four races of the season. Ford won last weekend with Joey Logano at Atlanta. Is it Toyota’s turn to win its first Cup race of the season? Or does Chevrolet return to dominance?

Chevrolet drivers have won 11 of the past 12 Cup races on road courses. The exception was Christopher Bell‘s win for Toyota at the Charlotte Roval in last year’s playoffs. Chevrolets have won the two previous Cup races at COTA: Chase Elliott in 2021 and Ross Chastain in 2022.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, will give the command to start engines at 3:38 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting at 2:45 p.m. … Driver introductions at 3:05 p.m. … Invocation will be given by Sage Steele, ESPN broadcaster, at 3:30 p.m. … Jaime Camil, actor from “Schmigadoon” on Apple TV+, will perform the national anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 68 laps (231.88 miles) on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 15. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 2 p.m. on FS1 and moves to Fox at 3 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also stream at; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy with a high of 80 degrees and a 2% chance of rain at the start of the race.

STARTING LINEUP: COTA Cup starting lineup

LAST YEAR: Ross Chastain scored his first career Cup win in a physical battle with AJ Allmendinger on the final lap. Alex Bowman finished second. Christopher Bell placed third.


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NASCAR Saturday schedule at Circuit of the Americas


Saturday will be a busy day at Circuit of the Americas, as all three national series are on the track.

Cup will qualify ahead of the Craftsman Truck and Xfinity Series races.

The forecast Saturday calls for sunny conditions and no chance of rain all day. The high is expected to be 69 degrees during Cup qualifying, 76 degrees at the start of the Truck race and 81 degrees for the start of the Xfinity race.

Zane Smith looks to win his second consecutive Truck race at the road course in Austin, Texas. AJ Allmendinger seeks his second consecutive Xfinity win at COTA.

Saturday, March 25

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Cup Series
  • 10:30 a.m.  — Truck Series
  • 2 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying (FS1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Truck race (42 laps, 143 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 5 p.m. — Xfinity race (46 laps, 156 miles; FS1, Performance Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)