FORT WORTH, Texas — Kyle Busch boosted his NASCAR-record Xfinity Series win total with a 99th career victory in Saturday afternoon‘s Alsco Uniforms 250 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion held off veteran series regular Justin Allgaier by a mere .433 seconds in overtime to earn his second series win in as many races this year.
Busch led the last 32 laps but had to negotiate three late restarts including the last in overtime. It technically marked his second victory of the day as John Hunter Nemechek won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in a truck owned by Busch.
“Just being with a great group of guys and Joe Gibbs Racing is pretty awesome to drive to drive these Toyota Supras here in the Xfinity Series,‘‘ Busch said after an extended victory burnout the crowd enjoyed from the series all-time winningest driver.
“All in all, such a good car,‘‘ Busch added, noting he thought Allgaier‘s No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet was just as good as his Toyota on Saturday.
“I was just able to think through a few things there on a couple restarts that may or may not work but there at the end they did.‘‘
Busch, who led a race-best 94 of the 171 laps, noted the good pushes from behind he got on the restarts from the current Xfinity Series championship leader Austin Cindric, who finished third. The two drivers each won a stage.
At the end of the day, Busch is hopeful the lessons he learned Saturday and the good outcome he enjoyed will be beneficial in Sunday night‘s NASCAR All-Star Race at the track.
It‘s Busch‘s 10th overall Xfinity Series win on the 1.5-mile Texas high banks, where he also has four NASCAR Cup Series and five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories. The trophy on Saturday marks the 300th win for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity and Cup ranks.
Just behind Allgaier and Cindric at the checkered flag were Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones rounding out the top five. AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, Brett Moffitt, Justin Haley and Michael Annett completed the top 10.
The top-10 result was especially significant for Gragson, driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. His work at Texas from a 30th-place start to a seventh-place finish was a solid rebound from a series of rough outings. He was running as high as fourth when he spun his tires on the next-to-last restart. His top-10 work halts a streak of three consecutive DNFs.
Cindric‘s third place effort is his 10th top-five effort in 14 races, giving him a commanding 108-point advantage over Allmendinger in the championship standings.
The Xfinity Series’ next race is Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Nashville Superspeedway. The event will mark the series’ first visit to the 1.33-mile track since 2011.
NOTE: The race-winning No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch passed NASCAR’s post-race inspection. There were no issues. NASCAR indicated the No. 54 car will be going back to the R&D Center for further evaluation. The No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet of Josh Berry had one lug nut not safe and secure.
Contributing: Staff reports