Kyle Busch rallies at Auto Club, lands 200th NASCAR national-series win

Kyle Busch registered his 200th NASCAR national series victory Sunday, rallying from a pit-road speeding penalty to win at Auto Club Speedway.

Busch led a race-high 134 of the 200 laps in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota to win the Auto Club 400. Busch had a 2.354-second margin at the checkered flag, landing the 53rd win of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career, his second premier-series win of the season and his fourth at the 2-mile California track.

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“Just awesome. To win 200, I mean, whatever it means, it means a lot to me,” Busch said in his post-race celebration. “It means a lot to all my guys, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. You guys are all the best. Toyota, TRD. It’s an amazing opportunity to drive for Joe Gibbs. I cherish every minute of it, love it always. Just wish that we could keep it going, keep it going like this, running strong, running well, and winning these races.”

Joey Logano held on for second place in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney completed the top five.

Busch swept both stages, but his bid for win No. 200 hit a sizable obstacle before the final stage. A pit-road speeding penalty during the Stage 2 intermission knocked him back in the running order. Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota was .04 mph over the speed limit tolerance leaving the pit lane.

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The penalty forced Busch back to 18th place for the restart with 73 laps remaining. Crew chief Adam Stevens encouraged his driver by saying, “If there’s any car and any driver that can get back up there, it’s us.” In nine laps, Busch had returned to the top 10, then received another break with 37 laps left when debris from Bubba Wallace’s flat tire brought out a fortuitous caution flag.

Busch dropped back on the restart as Team Penske teammates Keselowski and Logano asserted themselves, but he rallied back to regain the lead permanently on Lap 175.

The race was largely incident-free, save for a spin by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after a restart for the final lap of Stage 1. Stenhouse continued on with minimal damage. The cars of Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson also absorbed right-side contact in trying to avoid the spinning No. 17 Ford, but all three forged on for lead-lap finishes.

The next race for the Monster Energy Series comes next Sunday with the STP 500 (2 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM) at Martinsville Speedway. It’s the sixth of 36 points-paying races for the series this season.

This story will be updated.

The post Kyle Busch rallies at Auto Club, lands 200th NASCAR national-series win appeared first on Official Site Of NASCAR.

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