Kyle Busch has won all three August races at Bristol for a second time in eight years.
Busch passed future teammate Erik Jones for the race lead with 55 laps to go and deftly navigated lapped traffic over the last 25 laps to win for the sixth time at Bristol and for the first time at the concrete half-mile track since 2011.
Busch won Wednesday’s Truck Series race and Friday night’s Xfinity Series race. He last won all three races in 2010 and is the only driver to win all three NASCAR national series races at the same track in a single weekend.
Jones, the polesitter, put up a great fight but Busch was able to get by when Jones moved his car off the bottom lane to play defense against Busch and Matt Kenseth, who also got around him.
While Jones was able to pass Kenseth back for second, he was unable to run down Busch for the lead over the race’s final laps. He got within a half second at one point, but after he was slowed up by a lapped car he never got within striking distance again.
Busch’s win at Bristol snaps a stretch of horrendous Cup races at the track. Busch had crashed out of four of the last five races at the track. He won four of five races at the track from 2009 to 2011.
The victory also brings Busch’s career win total at NASCAR’s top three levels to a whopping 180. It’s the most national wins — by far — of any active driver. When Busch gets closer to Richard Petty’s mark of 200 wins, the debate between the accomplishments will be a conversation worth having even if all of Petty’s wins came in what’s now known as NASCAR’s Cup Series.
Denny Hamlin finished third while Kenseth was fourth to make a top-four sweep of Joe Gibbs Racing-equipped Toyotas.
The win means Busch now has 20 guaranteed playoff points. That total puts him second to Martin Truex Jr. and makes Busch a solid favorite to get to the final four at Homestead.