Fresh off his truck victory Wednesday, Busch wins the Food City 250 to jeers and cheers from the Bristol crowd!
Night racing got underway at Bristol with Elliott Sadler on the pole in the #33 car, #20 Joey Logano alongside on the front row. At the green, Logano jumped to the lead, and held it until teammate #18 Kyle Busch came to the front on lap 30. Behind him the rest of the top-ten were Logano, Sadler, #10 Jason Leffler, #21 Clint Bowyer, #1 Ryan Newman, #12 Justin Allgaier, #22 Brad Keselowski, #60 Carl Edwards, and #98 Paul Menard.
Debris from a cut tire of #49 Mark Green brought out caution number one, and the leaders would come in for fuel and tires. The exodus off pit road found the top-ten as Busch, Newman, Edwards, Logano, Sadler, Leffler, Menard, #11 Brian Scott, Allgaier, and #99 Trevor Bayne.
The second yellow came on lap 82 when #38 Kasey Kahne went two-wheeling along the rim of the outside wall after contact with #12 Allgaier. Kahne had been making his way up through the field after starting in the 37th position. Pit strategy would come into play as some of the leaders would come in, including Sadler and Edwards, banking on this being their last stop of the night. The restart on lap 90 had Busch, Newman, Menard, Bowyer, Leffler, Bayne, Logano, Gaughan, Scott and #05 Willie Allen running as the top-ten.
Caution number three came on lap 118 when Ryan Newman blew a tire and slammed into the wall, and those who did elected not to pit during the previous caution came in. The restart on lap 124 showed Edwards as the leader at the green, Sadler second. #42 Parker Kligerman, Busch, #6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Bowyer Keselowski, #81Michael McDowell, Menard and #15 Michael Annett made up the rest of the lead ten. Sadler made the pass for the lead five laps later.
With 94 laps to go, a three-way battle for the lead brought Clint Bowyer around the #60 and #33 to take the top spot, it was short-lived however, as two laps later the #21 was involved in a two-incident yellow. Trouble came when #87 Joe Nemechek hit the wall in front on the leaders and slid into #39 Sean Caisse. Behind them #01 Mike Wallace slowed to avoid the accident, and with nowhere to go, Bowyer got into the back of the #01.The field restarted with 84 laps of racing left, and series points-leader, Keselowski took the front spot, followed by Busch, Edwards, Sadler, Logano, Leffler, Bayne, Scott, #32 Reed Sorenson, and #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Justin Allgaier brought out caution after contact with #35 Jason Keller and #7 Josh Wise on lap 227. Keselowski maintained the lead on the restart, but a challenge came from Busch with 38 laps to go. As the two battled back and forth, Busch got loose, and the #22 tapped him into the wall. The #18 came back and retaliated by “dumping” Keselowski into the wall, leaving Busch as the race leader, and the field under caution. The restart on lap 227 brought another yellow for a multi-car incident which started from contact between #20 Logano and #10 Leffler. Others involved in the resulting mayhem-#66 Steven Wallace, Menard, Sorenson, Annett, Bowyer and Keselowski.
The green flag dropped with 15 laps to go, and the top-ten were Busch, Sadler, Earnhardt Jr., Edwards, Leffler, Bowyer, Bayne, Sorenson, and Scott. Another caution on a restart…this time involving Scott, Allen and Gaughan. Busch again led when racing resumed, and would go on to claim his tenth victory of the season, giving Toyota and JGR their first NNS win at Bristol. Rounding out the top-ten were Leffler, Sadler, Earnhardt Jr., Edwards, Bayne, Bowyer, Sorenson, Kligerman(started last, finished ninth, NNS career best-congrats guys!!), and Logano. Great job by Willie Allen tonight with a NNS career-best in 11th! In the championship points standings, Edwards gained 34 points on Keselowski tonight and is now 313 points behind. Stenhouse Jr. was the highest finishing rookie, finishing 22nd.