Team Interstate: Kyle Busch Conquers California
Kyle Busch proved yet again that you don’t need to lead every lap, just the right lap.
The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing used a sharp pit call and service by crew chief Dave Rogers and team, made a last-lap pass for the lead and held off hard-charging rookie Kyle Larson to win Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., his second win in a row on the 2-mile oval.
“That right there is a ‘Days of Thunder‘ thing,” said Busch, who recorded his 29th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Fontana. “Holy cow, what do you expect when you get a green-white-checkered finish and everybody has to come down pit road for tires? Unbelievable day. I can’t say enough about Interstate Batteries, M&M’s and Toyota, of course – awesome today to be here again in their hometown. I think the fans won today with that finish.”
Watch the thrilling finish:
On the final restart, Busch split the cars of Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart to take the lead on the final lap. Although he had a mirror full of Larson during the final lap, he was able to hold the rookie off to score his third career win at the 2-mile oval, yet again in dramatic fashion.
“I knew four tires was going to win the race, so I’m glad Dave called that,” said Busch, who led only five laps in the Auto Club 400. “I just can’t say enough about all these guys on this Interstate Batteries Toyota team. What an awesome race this track produced. I just can’t believe it. I thank the Lord for putting ourselves here and getting us locked in the Chase.”
Kyle’s Victory Lane interview:
Busch’s teammates – Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, and Sam Hornish Jr., subbing for Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota Camry, who was not medically cleared to race – finished 4th and 17th, respectively.
Slideshow — Photos from race weekend:
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Auto Club Speedway
Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Rogers Centre, Toronto
- No. 10 – Justin Brayton – 4th
- No. 33 – Josh Grant – DNQ (Food poisoning)