If you were just keeping track of this race on your phone then you’d think that this was a hard-fought race between Kyle Busch and John Hunter Nemechek. That was certainly not the case since the only reason John Hunter Nemechek won two stages is because Kyle Busch allowed him to go by on the last lap of each stage.
I think that NASCAR is going to have to send Kyle Busch a warning about his race manipulation down in the lower serious’. While this was not as egregious as him spinning himself out to start a caution, it still is manipulation. This is hard to police and to his credit, Busch made it look like JHN really just outdrove him. I guess that just adds to his many talents behind the wheel.
With any race with Kyle Busch in it, 95% of the time he will be dominating the day, but still, it was a decent race until the final stage. Once Nemechek had accumulated all the stage points he could Kyle Busch decided to check out.
I will say this, I made the prediction on my podcast that Kyle Busch might officially start his turn around this week at Atlanta and this race re-enforced that. While I predicted Chase Elliott as my favorite, keep an eye on Kyle Busch Sunday.
- Austin Hill was able to get around Nemechek to finish second. This is his second top five of the season after finishing 3rd at Las Vegas last time out.
- Johnny Sauter finished 4th for his first top five/ten of the year.
- Ross Chastain and Brett Moffitt score top tens for Niece Motorsports in one-off rides.
- Stewart Friesen finishes 10th for his third top ten in a row. Great momentum heading into the Bristol Dirt Race which he’s heavily favored for.
- Hailie Deegan finishes 21st. She did about as well as you could expect with no practice or qualifying.
- Bill Lester finished 36th after a 14-year hiatus from NASCAR. Not surprising, Lester was never phenomenal in the trucks to begin with. Not having practice and stepping in a truck after so long was a losing battle for him from the beginning.