Kyle Busch is pipped to the post once again by Martin Truex Jr

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers were in Kentucky at the weekend for the Quaker State 400 to try their hand at a newly repaved Kentucky Speedway. On the pole was Kyle Busch who was hoping to be the first driver to ever win an Xfinity race and a Cup race on the same day at this track. Especially as his crew chief was finally back after a four-race ban for a failed post-race inspection a few weeks ago. 

Holding onto his pole, Busch led the first laps of Stage one, closely followed by a quick Truex Jr and McMurray. With 51 laps to go, Truex Jr made a move on frontrunner Busch and the two were side by side for a couple of laps before Busch regained the lead ready for the competition caution on lap 30. Everyone used this as a chance to pit and the top three held onto their spots. Truex dropped to third upon the restart whilst Busch continued his lead ahead of McMurray. The two would trade places a few laps later as Truex moved back into second. Truex put the pressure on Busch with less than ten laps to go in this Stage and he took the lead and won the Stage in his 12th Stage win this year.

Busch made the outside line work for him on the start of Stage two as he took the lead right before Keselowski lost his air and span into the wall. He also took out Johnson who had nowhere to go, and clipped Bowyer. Busch’s outside line restart was as spectacular as the previous one and he once again led the race. One lap later and another caution came out for Bayne who was taken out by Kahne when racing for 11th.

Busch showed off how consistent he is after another great restart with 61 laps left in this Stage.  Just over ten laps later, a wounded Bayne brought out another caution after his car span out. 27 laps left in the Stage, Truex showed how good his car was at long runs as he took the lead back off Busch just before Gase got into the wall and brought out caution number six. The rest of the Stage ran without incident and Truex Jr earned himself another Stage win.

Logano led the first laps of Stage three after he and some other drivers decided to stay out and cycle to the front whilst everyone else’s strategies led them to pit. Lap 179 saw Busch lose a few spots after running at the front for most of the race. It looked like he was experiencing some difficultly with the left rear. Truex resumed the lead and this is where he stayed until the end of the race – even after a late race caution for Kurt Busch and big wreck during the overtime laps – making it a clean sweep of all three Stages for him here at Kentucky Speedway.

It was another unfortunate day for Kyle Busch who led 104 of 267 laps here in Kentucky and nearly won the race during Kentucky’s first ever overtime restart. So he will still be chasing his first win next week at New Hamspire Speedway. This has been a common trend for the Joe Gibbs driver who has had three poles and has led 858 laps this season. Despite losing his crew chief multiple times, being involved in some horrendous wrecks and some controversial conversations about his post-race behaviour, Busch’s consistency is undeniable. Fortunately for Rowdy fans- there are plenty of races left this season – therefore there are plenty more opportunities for Busch’s patience, luck, skill and talent to pay off in the form of that first race win and playoff points.

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