Kyle Busch passed Ryan Blaney on the backstretch of the final lap and went on to win the Lilly 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It was another chapter in a remarkable comeback story for Busch, who has also won three out of four Sprint Cup races since returning from severe injuries at the season-opening Xfinity race in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Daniel Suarez finished third, with Paul Menard fourth. Points-leader Chris Buescher was 12th. Buescher leads Chase Elliott by 25 points.
Blaney, who had taken the lead on a restart on Lap 76, had trouble passing the lapped car of Derrike Cope. Busch pounced, taking advantage of the mistake and passing Blaney on the backstretch of the 100th and final lap to win by .422 seconds.
Three who mattered
Kyle Busch: Busch won his 72nd Xfinity race, a series record.
Ryan Blaney: Young driver learned a hard lesson about how to get around a lapped car when somebody like Busch is lurking.
Chris Buescher: Points leader saw his lead shrink to 25 points over Chase Elliott after a 12th-place finish.
▪ Many drivers struggled in the heat which reached into the 90s, including Busch, who had to sit for a while in victory lane from exhaustion.
▪ Saturday’s victory certainly bodes well for Busch for Sunday’s Brickyard 400. He’s on an incredible run now, one that has extended into the Xfinity series.
▪ Regan Smith won $100,000 from Xfinity in the Dash4Cash competition. He was the highest finisher among three other eligible drivers (Buescher, Elliott and Brendan Gaughan). Smith will join Blaney, Suarez and Elliott Sadler in the next round in Bristol, Tenn., on Aug. 21.
They said it
“If it wasn’t for a mistake by the car in front of us, we would have lost. That would have been really defeating for (our team).” – Kyle Busch.
US Cellular 250
Where: Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa.
When: Aug. 1, 7 p.m.
TV: NBC Sports Network.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.