Kyle Larson pushes Kurt Busch to win, finishes fourth at Kentucky

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For about 267 of 269 laps, Kyle Larson wasn’t a factor in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.

Then he restarted behind teammate Kurt Busch in overtime.

Larson’s No. 42 Chevrolet was third in the outside row while Busch’s No. 1 Chevrolet restarted behind race leader Joey Logano.

When the final green flag waved, Logano’s car was slowed by a sidedraft from Kyle Busch in second as the field roared into Turn 1.

That’s when the Chip Ganassi Racing drivers pounced.

“I was satisfied with the launch I got,” Larson said after his fourth-place finish in Saturday’s race. “I was going to be committed to Kurt (Busch)’s back bumper no matter how much of a run I had because I knew I couldn’t get to the lead from the third row so if I could help a teammate out, I was happy with that.”

Kurt Busch swept to the outside and Larson followed, pushing his teammate by Logano, who fell back. The help from Larson gave Kurt Busch enough momentum to begin racing side-by-side with his younger brother.

“I thought the race for the lead there was really good from what I could see. It was good, maybe a little better than your normal Kentucky,” Larson said. “Kyle (Busch) was loose a couple of times below him and they made contact I think a couple of times. There was some really good car control and it was fun to watch from my seat.”

The Busch brothers battled non-stop for two laps until Kurt Busch took the checkered flag.

The win snapped a 64-race winless streak for Chip Ganassi Racing, stretching back to Larson’s win at Richmond in September 2017.

Both Ganassi cars finished in the top five for the first time since the June 2017 race at Michigan.

While Kurt Busch earned his first win with Ganassi, Larson has claimed two top fives in the last three races.

“I’m happy for Kurt, (crew chief) Matt McCall and everybody on the 1 team,” Larson said. “They have been really strong all year-long. They should have won last week (Daytona), so it’s nice for them to get some redemption today.”