HAMPTON, Ga. – Kyle Busch took the lead during the final round of pit stops and held off Brad Keselowski to win Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Busch started from the pole and led the first seven laps before giving up the race lead to Brad Keselowski on the eighth lap. He didn’t make his way back to the front of the field again until much later thanks to a speedy pit stop late in the race.
Kyle Larson was the race leader with 21 laps left when the engine expired in Clint King’s No 78 Ford, forcing officials to call for the caution flag.
With tire wear always a factor on the worn out surface at Atlanta Motor Speedway, all of the lead lap cars came down pit road under the caution period. Larson’s crew got service done quickly on his Chevrolet, but was briefly blocked in by Kevin Harvick’s Ford and that allowed Busch to beat Larson off pit road to take the race lead.
When the green flag waved with 16 laps left Busch rocketed out into the lead while Larson, who restarted on the outside of the front row, spun his tires and faded from second to fifth.
Larson’s problem allowed Brad Keselowski, who had won the first 40-lap stage of the race, to make his way up to second. Keselowski was able to get close a few times during the final 15 laps, including when the pair had to navigate lap traffic with five laps left, but Busch held him off to score his 87th career XFINITY Series victory.
It was Busch’s second-straight XFINITY Series victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“We weren’t great early on and we weren’t great through the middle (of the race), but Scott Graves and these guys worked on this car all day long,” said Busch. “They brought the NOS Energy Drink Toyota to life there at the end. Pretty proud to put ourselves in victory lane two years in a row. It took me so long to get here to begin with and now we’ve won two in a row.”
Busch’s car later failed post-race inspection when it was found to be too low on both the left and right front. Any resulting penalties will be announced next week.
Keselowski settled for second, followed by Larson, stage two winner Kevin Harvick and XFINITY Series regular Elliott Sadler.
Darrell Wallace Jr., William Byron, Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric and Cole Custer completed the top-10.
For full results check out the next page.