Kyle Busch Edges Larson By A Nose To Win Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300
It was Kyle vs. Kyle in a battle royale at The Last Great Colosseum Saturday afternoon as Kyle Busch edged rookie Kyle Larson by a nose to win Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300.
In the second closest finish in the Nationwide Series (.023 seconds) in Bristol Motor Speedway history, Kyle Busch earned his fifth victory at BMS and his 53rd overall in the series.
Busch, who started 13th, had to work hard for what was his 13th overall win at BMS (five Sprint Cup, five Nationwide and five Truck).
“I don’t know how close it was, but maybe it was too close,” said Busch, who will start from the pole in tomorrow’s Food City 500. “Battling with Kyle Larson, a young kid like that, he’s got a lot of talent. He’s gonna make a name – obviously, he already has made a name for himself. I think that he’s got a lot going for him. It was fun racing with him; wish it was a little easier.”
The 27-year-old Busch, who led for 156 laps, joked about age as he battled the 20-year-old Larson.
“I’m getting old… I’m 27 and I’m getting old,” he said with a laugh. “I think the first closest race here was me and (Joey) Logano two years ago in the fall. I don’t like making them close but it’s more exciting for the fans.”
Brian Vickers finished third, followed by points leader Sam Hornish Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top 10 was Regan Smith, Chris Buescher, pole-sitter Justin Allgaier, Parker Klingerman and Brian Scott.
Larson’s runner-up finished was especially impressive considering it was his first Nationwide Series race at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
“Today was a lot of fun,” said Larson, who had wrecked in two of the first three races this season coming into the Grit Chips 300. “Yesterday, we didn’t practice very well -- we were 17th or worse after the first practice then the team made bunch of changes. It still didn’t feel that great but I think the track came to us a little and we got really good there about midway of the race.
“I got to third and ran Kyle and Kevin (Harvick) down and wasn’t quite sure what to do when I got to them. Then I caught a caution and I tried a couple of moves on Kyle to get around him on the bottom and was a little too tight off the throttle. The last lap I was happy he went to the bottom and gave me one more shot to get around him. He left me just enough room to squeeze by and then I just missed it by a couple of feet.”
Larson admitted he was erring on the side of caution.
“I didn’t want to move him or anything,” he said. “I wanted to try to outrace him. You get a little more respect that way. And I definitely think it made for a better finish.”
The race featured five lead changes among five drivers and eight caution flags for 54 laps.
Tickets still are available for tomorrow’s Food City 500 and may be purchased at the BMS ticket office or by calling 1-866-415-4158.