Spin and Win, Kyle Busch Victorious In XFINITY Series Race at Watkins Glen

The box score for Saturday’s Zippo 200 may read Kyle Busch as the race winner, but the win didn’t come easy like most of the others have for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Busch, led 43 of the 82 laps, but his No. 18 Toyota had to overcome a lot.

Kyle Busch during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Zippo 200 at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 5, 2017 in Watkins Glen, New York.

On the drop of the green flag, Busch immediately jumped to the lead in the first corner, shooting by pole sitter Joey Logano. He’d led the first 16 laps of the race, but with four laps left in the first stage, he wheel hopped his car entering Turn 1 and spun.

Brad Keselowski who charged up to second at the time would take over the lead, with his Team Penske teammate Logano in tow. Busch, would fall to third after his first of two early race mishaps.

Then, on the pit stops at the end of the opening stage of the race, Busch would pass through too many pit stalls and be penalized. He would restart at the end of the lead lap as a result.

Those errors wouldn’t faze him though, as he charged through the field and took over the lead with 22 laps-to-go and never looked back. Busch, would head to victory lane for the 177th time of his NASCAR career, 90 of which in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, as he bested the Penske duo for his first victory in XFINITY Series competition at Watkins Glen.

It was also his fourth win of the season, three of which coming over the last four weeks, and 25th different track he’s won at in the XFINITY Series too.

The Penske duo pitted early in the third stage, hoping the clean air up front would aid in a clean lap into pit entry, and fresh tires would keep everyone at bay. But, Busch’s Goodyear tires didn’t fall off much at all, allowing him to stay out and pit much later, which helped keep him out front of everyone despite a late race pit stop.

The win would come easy if not for Casey Mears stalling on the track with eight to go. We’d go back green for a final three lap shootout, but no one had anything for Busch after that point.

Logano, would come home second in his No. 12 Ford for his fifth top five finish in eight starts this year. He was the two-time defending race winner at Watkins Glen too. Keselowski, would bring his No. 22 Ford home third for his sixth top five of 2017 and eighth top 10, all in as many starts.

Ford had won five straight years in this race before Busch took his Toyota to victory lane on Saturday afternoon.

Logano, said his car was good on long runs, while Keselowski had a better short run car.

After three straight finishes of 20th or worse, Justin Allgaier took his No. 7 Chevrolet to his first top five finish in eight starts, with a fourth place effort.

Paul Menard would round out the top five in his No. 2 Chevrolet. Menard, won Stage 2, but in the third stage, he accidentally hit the kill switch, knocking the power out to his Richard Childress Racing entry, causing him to lose four spots in the process.

The series will start on the road courses for another week, heading to Mid-Ohio next weekend.

Zippo 200 Results:

  1. 18 Busch
  2. 12 Logano
  3. 22 Keselowski
  4.  7 Allgaier
  5.  2 Menard
  6. 41 Harvick
  7.  3 Dillon
  8. 20 Jones
  9. 62 Gaughan
  10.  9 Byron R
  11. 21 Hemric R
  12. 00 Custer R
  13. 19 Tifft R
  14. 33 Jones
  15. 16 Reed
  16.  5 Annett
  17. 48 Poole
  18.  1 Sadler -1
  19.  4 Chastain -1
  20. 24Lupton -1
  21. 28 Armstrong -1
  22. 11 Koch -1
  23. 01 Rhodes -1
  24.  0 Smithley -1
  25. 98 Mears -2
  26. 07 Jones -2
  27. 39 Sieg -2
  28.  8 Bilicki -3
  29. 52 Gase -3
  30. 99 Starr -3
  31. 40 Baca -4
  32. 23 Gallagher -15
  33. 90 Henderson OUT
  34. 74 Ware OUT
  35. 51 Clements OUT
  36. 78 Young OUT
  37. 13 Hill OUT
  38. 93 Green OUT
  39. 14 Yeley OUT
  40. 42 Larson OUT

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