Kyle Busch takes elusive first win for RCR in Pala Casino 400

FONTANA, Calif — Kyle Busch overcame an early speeding penalty to claim his first win for Richard Childress Racing in the final Pala Casino 400.

Busch’s win is significant being the first since joining RCR and surpassing Richard Petty for one win in 19 consecutive seasons of competition.

The driver of the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet began his journey to victory in 21st position and crested the top 10 prior to the competition caution on Lap 15. A quick stop under the yellow boosted the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion into the top five where he remained throughout the stint while the Team Penske pair of Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney traded the top spot.

Brad Keselowski’s spin on Lap 42 slowed the pace and brought the leaders to pit road. Blaney kept the lead while Busch got hit with a speeding penalty.

Ross Chastain emerged as a contender on the restart as he passed Blaney and held on to claim the first stage win. Chastain remained the dominant driver throughout the second stint while a handful of cautions slowed the action.

The most significant came on the Lap 87 restart when the field accordioned and sent a number of drivers crashing and spinning through the infield grass. Christopher Bell, Aric Almirola and Ryan Preece caught the worst of it and were eliminated from the race.

Chastian cleared Logano on the restart and remained unchallenged throughout the entire stint while Busch slid into second place.

The order shuffled under the final stage break as Kevin Harvick rose to the lead ahead of Busch with Logano and Chastian in tow.

Busch motored to the lead ahead with Chastian pushing just as the action got truncated by Ty Dillon’s stoppage off Turn 2 on Lap 142. That brought the field to pit road with Busch taking the lead ahead of Harvick, Daniel Suarez and Chastian.

Chastain came out ahead after a tight battle on the restart while Busch inhaled Logano, Suarez and Brad Keselowski to move into the runner-up spot.

The top pair jetted from the pack with Busch taking the top spot on Lap 167 as the final round of pitstops quickly approached. Busch’s crew executed a perfect final pitstop to maintain the lead and cycle to P1 on Lap 180 when stops were complete.

Chastain fell into the clutches of Chase Elliott while Busch took the checkered flag with ease.


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