Kyle Busch Becomes First Driver To Win At Every Active Track With Coca-Cola 600 Win


By: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com

CONCORD, N.C. – Kyle Busch lapped all but nine cars in the Coca-Cola 600 as he captured his first points race win at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday. Busch, the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 M&M’s Red White & Blue Toyota becomes the first to win at every active track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, with the exception of the ROVAL at Charlotte that the series will compete at for the first time in September.

The 33-year-old Las Vegas native started on the pole and led 377 of the 400 laps throughout the Coca-Cola 600. Aside from green flag pit stops, at no point was Busch ever challenged for the lead. Busch now has four wins this season.

“It’s awesome,” said Busch about winning at every active track. “I mean I’ve dreamt of that – not only winning here and winning the Coke 600 as a kid and being in victory lane here for this race, but to just be a force that people got to be reckoned with, you know. I go across the country and race Super Late Models because I want to win at every single race track. I just want to show that there is no weakness. My guys have given me that chance here tonight and being able to get to victory lane with this M&M’s Toyota – it sure looks pretty in victory lane here tonight.”

Martin Truex Jr. finished second in the Furniture Row Racing Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota. In the closing laps of the race, Truex attempted to chase Busch down, but he was unable to as he finished more than three seconds back. Truex has eight top-10 finishes this season and 10 top-10 finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“I feel like we’re in decent shape,” Truex said. “Still learning a little bit about the rules this year, the new splitter deal, the last four weeks I feel like has hurt us some and definitely made it more difficult to pass and come through traffic. Tonight was definitely a difficult test because of that, but I thought we were somewhat as fast as Kyle maybe on the short runs, just maybe not the long runs. So we’re not too far off, we just need to keep digging.” 

Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin finished third. The driver of the No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota has now finished inside the top-five in two consecutive points races. He entered the Coca-Cola 600 coming off a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway.

“We’ve just got to ‑‑ we just need two or three tenths a lap,” Hamlin said. “It seems like that’s kind of what I’m off, and I just can’t get the speed out of the car. I was just handling a certain way, and it’s just a razor’s edge for us.  We’re either really good or we’re average at best. We need to get a little bit better.”

Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 was Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

During the Coca-Cola 600, there were 11 cautions for 54 laps.

Kevin Harvick entered the weekend looking to win his third points race in a row, fourth if you count the non-points Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race; however, his night ended after he pounded the wall in Turns 3 and 4 to bring out the caution on lap 85. Harvick started from the rear of the field on Sunday after failing to pass pre-qualifying technical inspection earlier in the week.

“There’s enough things that could have happened right there, but I’m just really proud of everybody on our Mobil 1/Busch Ford,” Harvick said. “The car was really, really fast. We came all the way through the pack and made it up into the top three there and sometimes those things happen. I can’t complain about anything that’s happened this year. We have to take the good with the bad. The guys did a great job in basically guessing at where the car needed to be today with all the penalties, no practice and starting in the back. To come out and have the fastest car again was quite an honor to drive and they’re doing a great job. It was just bad luck.”

Throughout the night, there was only one yellow flag was for a multicar accident. On lap 121, the caution came out when Jimmie Johnson spun in Turn 4. With nowhere to go, Joey Logano also spun. Hamlin and Erik Jones were involved as well.

Following the Coca-Cola 600, Kyle Busch leads Logano in the standings by 67 points.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will visit Pocono Raceway on Sunday, June 3 for the Pocono 400. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2 p.m. ET.

TheFourthTurn.com is a daily motorsports news outlet based in Florence, South Carolina, concentrating on NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws Late Models and much more. On the site, you’ll find unique opinions, original news content, team press releases, breathtaking photos and videos. Be sure to like TheFourthTurn on Facebook and follow @TheFourthTurn on Twitter.

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