LAS VEGAS – It took a lot of work to make it a reality, but Kyle Busch kept his perfect weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway alive on Saturday afternoon by winning the Boyd Gaming 300.
Busch fell a lap down early after pitting for a loose wheel, but methodically rallied back through the field and wrested the lead away from Tyler Reddick for the first time with 89 laps left in regulation.
From there, the all-time NASCAR Xfinity Series wins leader dominated the rest of the distance, leading 98 of the final 102 laps en route to his second win in two days and the 93rd of his Xfinity Series career.
Busch survived a double-overtime finish, set up when Brandon Jones crashed as the leaders were coming to the white flag, and beat John Hunter Nemechek to the finish line by .192 of a second.
“I didn’t keep myself into the game. I just knew to keep fighting and working,” Busch said in victory lane. “It was just really enough to come back from one of those setbacks. I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it, being short that set of tires, but we got a lucky break with a caution there in the second stage that got us back on cycle.
“We were able to put our first set back on with fresh wheels, so we didn’t have any more issues there.”
The day appeared to come unraveled for Busch on lap 15, when he ducked to pit road for a loose right-front wheel, but the Las Vegas native put his head down and charged through the field like a hot knife through butter.
The No. 18 team, led by rookie crew chief Ben Beshore, gambled by taking a wave-around during the first stage break and hit the jackpot when Austin Cindric spun six laps after the restart to bring out a caution flag that allowed Busch to hit pit road.
At that point, Busch took on scuffed tires in an effort to get back level with the leaders on rubber, a decision that paid off by the end of the second stage after he had come from 19th to third.
From there, Busch ducked in behind leader Reddick after a lap-98 restart and stalked the No. 2 Chevrolet, eventually making the pass for the lead on the outside of turn two at the 112th round.
It wouldn’t quite be smooth sailing to the finish, however, as a green-flag cycle of pit stops allowed both Reddick and Bell to begin closing on Busch heading into the home stretch. With 38 to go, Bell disposed of Reddick for the runner-up spot and slowly but surely, he began reeling Busch’s No. 18 Toyota in.
Bell caught Busch with 22 to go and two laps later, he made the diving pass for the race lead off turn four. However, Bell slapped the wall in turn two and gave the lead right back to Busch, ending up having to scrap with Reddick for the runner-up spot before getting another chance to chase Busch at 15 to go.
A caution for a spinning Jairo Avila Jr. with 12 laps left sent all the leaders down pit road and set up a six-lap shootout, with Busch and Bell on the front row and Reddick restarting third just looking for a way to pounce.
Reddick made his move on the restart, shuffling Bell into the middle of three-wide and moving up to second behind Busch. A caution just before the white flag waved, after Jones hit the outside wall hard in turn three as a result of contact with Cole Custer, gave Reddick a shot alongside Busch for the win.
He stayed with Busch for almost a full lap on the first overtime attempt, but got loose in turn four and washed up into Bell, causing both drivers to spin and creating a multi-car pileup entering the tri-oval.
That led to a second shot at overtime and put Nemechek, who got through the chaos, alongside Busch on the front row for the final restart.
Despite a valiant effort on the bottom, Nemechek couldn’t stay with Busch exiting turn four and had to settle for second in the end, notching GMS Racing’s best Xfinity Series finish since June of 2018 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.
“I was hoping Austin Dillon was going to get back and give me a little bit of a push there, but the 1 (Michael Annett) got to his right-rear quarter (panel),” noted Nemechek. “The 18 (Busch) and I were side-by-side, stalling out and the guys behind us got a huge run.
“After that, the 1 car gave Kyle a huge push into (turn) three and that was it,” he added. “We gave him a run for his money and matched his restart. Man … I’ve been beat by Kyle too many times through my late model days, and now in the Xfinity Series. Hopefully, we can build momentum some off of this and continue strong into the next few races.”
Noah Gragson made a three-wide pass on the last lap to steal third. He was followed by Austin Dillon, with Annett completing the top five.
Sixth through 10th were Ryan Sieg, Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, Cole Custer and Justin Haley.
Busch will now chase his third-career tripleheader sweep on Sunday in the Pennzoil 400.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.