Date: Aug. 28, 2021
Event: Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Round 26 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway(2.5-mile oval)
Format: 160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/35th (Accident, completed 156 of 165 laps)
Point Standing: 4th (2,022 points, 30 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
Note: Race extended five laps past its scheduled 160-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):
● Kyle Busch started fourth and finished third, earning eight bonus points.
● Busch started in the top-five with his Interstate Batteries Toyota and held his spot up toward the front of the field.
● The driver of the No. 18 came for a fuel-only stop on lap 22 during the caution for the competition yellow and then restarted 13th on lap 24.
● The Interstate Batteries Toyota driver worked his way back up through the field and into the top-five. He reached the third spot to end Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):
● Busch started 23rd and finished eighth, earning three bonus points.
● The Interstate Batteries Toyota came to pit road following the stage on lap 53 to take on four tires and fuel. The No. 18 over-the-wall team performed an impressive stop, putting him to the lead off pit road.
● With the team hoping to make the next 50-lap stage without having to stop, crew chief Ben Beshore made the decision to come back to pit road with one to go before the field took the green for Stage 2 to top off the fuel tank, helping to ensure they made the entire stage on one tank of fuel.
● The Interstate Batteries driver restarted deep in the field, but he moved up quickly again, reaching the third spot by lap 60.
● Busch got shuffled out of the draft with three laps go in the stage and lost a few spots, but he still earned stage points by finishing eighth in the second stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 101-165):
● Busch started 10th and finished 35th.
● The Interstate Batteries driver restarted the final stage within the top-10 and held his spot up front until the caution waved on lap 140.
● Busch came to pit road two laps later to take on fuel only and restarted in the ninth position.
● The Interstate Batteries driver fell to 13th. As the field came out of turn four on lap 156, Busch was caught up in a multicar accident ahead of him and was not able to finish the race after what had looked like a promising night of running up front.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“There was a bunch of blocking going on, and guys got crossed up. I don’t know if anyone touched me, I just lost it trying to check up and stay out of it. Just frustrating to come to these places and wonder if you are going to walk out of here. Thanks to Interstate Batteries, Toyota and M&M’S. And we’ll see what we can do next week.”
Team Interstate Results:
● Denny Hamlin finished 14th.
● Martin Truex Jr. finished 30th.
● Christopher Bell finished 33rd.
● Kyle Busch finished 35th.
Team Interstate Points:
Martin Truex Jr. (3rd with 2,024 points, 28 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
Kyle Busch (4th with 2,022 points, 30 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
Denny Hamlin (7th with 2,015 points, 37 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
Christopher Bell (12th with 2,005 points, 47 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 5, at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The first race in the 10-race NASCAR Playoffs starts at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!