Kyle Busch passed Tony Stewart for his final lead of the night thirty-seven laps from the finish and kept the Number-18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in front the rest of the way Saturday at Kansas Speedway, notching his third victory of the season. Busch started sixth, took his first lead just twenty-six laps into the race and beat runner-up Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by one-point- one seconds. It’s Busch’s thirty- seventh career Cup Series victory but his first in seventeen starts on the Kansas City oval. Kurt Busch finished third with Matt Kenseth – one of Kyle Busch’s J-G- R teammates – grabbing fourth place.
Rookie Ryan Blaney completed the top five. Pole sitter Martin Truex Junior led a race-high 172 laps and seemed headed for his first victory of the season. But with less than sixty laps remaining, Truex was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel on his Number-78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. After returning to the track, Truex could do no better than fourteenth in the final running order.
Harvick’s second-place finish was enough to keep him atop the regular-season standings, though his lead over Busch has shrunk to four points … Through the first eleven races of the season, there have been six race winners: Busch, with a series-leading three victories … Harvick, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin … There were three drivers in the field who consider Kansas Speedway their “home track” and none cracked the top ten Saturday night. Edwards (Columbia, Missouri) finished eleventh, Clint Bowyer (Emporia, Kansas) ran nineteenth and Jamie McMurray (Joplin, Missouri) placed twenty-first.