Kurt Busch outduels younger brother Kyle to win Cup Series race
SPARTA, Ky. — Kurt Busch won a door-to-door overtime battle with his little brother at Kentucky Speedway to earn his first victory with Chip Ganassi Racing.
The Saturday night showdown between the Busch brothers came a week after Kurt Busch lost at Daytona because he pitted from the lead moments before weather stopped the race. That pit call haunted Busch and his crew chief all week, but a late call for four tires gave the No. 1 team a shot at redemption.
Joey Logano had the victory in hand until a spin by Bubba Wallace with six laps remaining sent the race into overtime.
Logano and Kyle Busch lined up side-by-side on the restart for what was expected to be a race for the win, but both Erik Jones and Kurt Busch shoved their cars into the mix for an intense final two laps.
Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch touched as they raced for the lead, both cars wiggled, and it appeared Kurt Busch was headed into the wall. But he recovered to squeeze past his brother right before the checkered flag.
“You know, racing your little brother every week and watching him win a lot, I’m proud of him, but I’m proud of him he gave me a little bit of room on that outside,” Kurt Busch said. “ He could have clobbered us against the wall, and third place probably would have got it. What an awesome run.”
The Busch brothers finished 1-2, but it was the first win of the year for Kurt Busch and his new Ganassi team. Team owner Chip Ganassi called into victory lane from Toronto, where he’s with his IndyCar team.
The victory is the third straight of the season for Chevrolet and first in nine races at Kentucky. It ended a two-race Kentucky winning streak for Martin Truex Jr. and Toyota.
Jones was third in a Toyota and Ganassi driver Kyle Larson was fourth. Denny Hamlin was fifth as JGR had three cars in the top five.
The finish was fitting considering the first two stages belonged to the Buschs. Kurt won the first 80-lap segment while Kyle Busch won the second.