Kurt Busch wins Bristol night race


BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kurt Busch won Saturday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading the final 13 laps under green to beat Kyle Larson, who had fresher tires.

Busch scored his first win in 58 races, going to Victory Lane for the first time since the 2017 Daytona 500. It was his sixth win at Bristol Motor Speedway but first since March 2006.

The top five was rounded out by Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Erik Jones.

Busch’s 30th career win in Cup came with questions surrounding his future in the series after this season.

“I love this place,” Busch said. “We now have won six times here, and I have great teams that have always helped me win. This group of guys, Billy Scott, my crew chief, this is his first win and to be able to do it with Ford and Monster and Haas Automation is just what it’s all about, is executing as a team and we had good restarts when we had to, and then you’ve got to get clever and start throwing everything at it.”

Busch kept the lead on the final restart with 13 laps to go after Clint Bowyer was unable to get going.

He was one of four drivers (including Bowyer) to stay out following a caution with 29 laps to go. Busch was the only one of the four to remain in the top five. Bowyer finished sixth.

Busch led the final 24 laps.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ryan Blaney used lapped traffic to narrowly beat Kevin Harvick by 0.003 seconds.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Joey Logano held off Chase Elliott by about half a car length.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Kyle Larson earned his fifth runner-up finish of 2018 and second straight runner-up finish at Bristol … Chase Elliott led 112 laps and earned his second-career top five at Bristol. His first came with a fourth in his inaugural attempt in 2016. … Joey Logano earned his first top five in 13 races .. Trevor Bayne placed 11th for his best result of 2018.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Bubba Wallace and AJ Allmendinger were eliminated in a multi-car crash on Lap 2 that also involved Kyle Busch, who went two laps down as a result. Busch battled back to the lead lap and ran as high as third until he wrecked after cutting his left-rear tire with 18 laps to go. He finished 20th … Paul Menard retired after 28 laps after heavy contact with the wall … Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 24th after he had to make multiple unscheduled stops, the first coming in Stage 1 for a flat tire … Martin Truex Jr. was eliminated after he was turned and wrecked by Kyle Busch with 68 laps to go while running in second.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I used to win the spring race here a lot and there was an off week after that, so thank you Bristol.  I’m loving it.” – Kurt Busch.

WHAT’S NEXT: Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway at 6 p.m. ET on Sept. 2 on NBCSN