Kyle Busch led Joe Gibbs Racing with an 11th-place finish today in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Meanwhile teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano would finish 16th and 29th respectively.
Kyle Busch started his No. 18 M&Ms Toyota in the third position and quickly jumped up into the second spot following the drop of the green flag. The car would become loose just a few laps later however and cause him to drift back to sixth by the time the first caution came out. Busch would restart the race in the 14th position following that first caution, but was able to make his way forward to the front of the field once again. A two-tire pit stop would allow Busch to take the lead on lap 86 and pick up an important bonus point toward his overall standings in the point race. A few laps into the run the car would become extremely loose however and Busch would drop back to run fifth. Like many others Busch would battle the handle on the car as it shifted from loose to tight much of the day, but despite those challenges he would run top-five much of the race. Crew chief Dave Rogers would make the call for a two-tire change when a caution came out with 27 laps to go. Unfortunately the No. 18 Camry would suddenly become extremely tight and Busch would lose several positions on the ensuing restart. He was running in 10th when the day’s final caution came out to create a green-white-checker finish. The M&Ms crew would make another two-tire stop in hopes that the fresher tires would give the team an advantage over the final two laps, but this time the car would go extremely loose and Busch was forced to hang on for an 11th-place finish.
Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota in the seventh position and battled handling conditions throughout much of the day as his car moved from tight to loose. Despite battling those issues however, Hamlin and the FedEx team managed to run near the top ten for much of the day. The team would make a decision to stay out on the track late in the race to gain track position which allowed Hamlin to restart in the second position on lap 244. Unfortunately those with fresher tires were able to take advantage over time and Hamlin would slide back outside of the top-five. When the race restarted for a green-white-checker finish, Hamlin was running in the 13th position, but tough going on the restart would drop him back to 16th for the finish.
Joey Logano started the No. The 20 Home Depot Toyota 20th but found the car loose on the track through the early laps of the race. Adjustments by The Home Depot crew during early pit stops would tighten the No. 20 Camry up, but unfortunately the car would become too tight. Those changing handling conditions on the Home Depot Toyota would trouble the team much of the day and Logano would ultimately fall two laps off the pace. He restarted in the 25th position for a green-white-checker finish, but contact with the No. 47 car would cause left side damage to his Camry and the result would be a 29th-place finish.
Jimmie Johnson captured the victory, while Kasey Kahne finished second, Brad Keselowski was third, Matt Kenseth was fourth and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. There were six cautions for a total of 25 laps and 19 lead changes among nine different drivers over the course of the 272-lap race, which was extended five laps for a green-white-checker finish.
Busch remains eighth in the current NASCAR point standings 20 points behind the leader Carl Edwards. Meanwhile Hamlin remains 12th and is now 79 points out of the top spot.
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
1. Carl Edwards 2161
2. Kevin Harvick (-1)
3. Jimmie Johnson (-4)
4. Brad Keselowski (-11)
5. Matt Kenseth (-12)
6. Kurt Busch (-16)
7. Tony Stewart (-19)
8. Kyle Busch (-20)
9. Dale Earnhard, Jr. (-43)
10. Jeff Gordon (-47)
11. Ryan Newman (-54)
12. Denny Hamlin (-79)
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Charlotte for the midpoint race of the Chase and the last night race of the season. Coverage of the Bank of America 500 from Charlotte Motor Speedway will start on ABC at 7 PM ET (race starts at 7:30 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius Radio NASCAR channel 90 and the PRN Radio Network.