NASCAR Rundown: Busch conquers Talladega for second win of 2023, Dover preview
Published 2:49 pm Friday, April 28, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Kyle Busch was passed by Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney coming to take the white flag at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23. Blaney, who led a race-high 47 laps, pushed Wallace to the front as the field crossed the line for the penultimate time.
In turn one, Blaney made a move high to get by Wallace, but was blocked. A move down low was blocked by Wallace again, and the third move by Blaney ended with Wallace spinning low and collecting others in the field. It was Busch who emerged out of turn two first and brought it around to take his first checkered flag at Talladega since 2008.
The win was Busch’s second win at the superspeedway, and his second in the first 10 races with his new team Richard Childress Racing this season. The win was Busch’s 62nd win in his NASCAR Cup Series career, and it came by leading just three laps.
“It means a lot obviously,” Busch said in the media center after the race. “Last time I won here, 15 years ago, (it was) my first year with (Joe Gibbs Racing). Here we are with my first year in RCR being able to get back into Victory Lane at Talladega. It’s been a little bit.”
Fuel mileage was a talking point late in the race as multiple overtime restarts extended the race and extra eight laps from 188 to 196. Busch’s crew chief opted to leave him out on track to maintain track position late when the debate to top off the fuel cell was going on. The gamble, for the Las Vegas native, paid off.
“We were obviously short on fuel, kind of stretching it,” Busch said. “I probably wouldn’t have taken that chance of staying out but for the win in Fontana (earlier in the year). That opened up our playbook, gave us a chance to be up front, restart up front and go for a win today.”
Alabama race fans were treated to the most lead changes in a Talladega race since 2011 (72) with 57 during this year’s Geico 500. A quartet of Fords followed Busch in the finishing order with Blaney bringing it home in second, one spot from snapping his 55-race winless streak. Chris Buescher, Chase Briscoe and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five finishers.
NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Standings
*denotes race win
- Kyle Larson **
- Kyle Busch **
- William Byron **
- Christopher Bell *
- Tyler Reddick *
- Joey Logano *
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. *
- Ross Chastain +90
- Kevin Harvick +82
- Martin Truex Jr. +52
- Ryan Blaney +47
- Alex Bowman +41
- Denny Hamlin +41
- Brad Keselowski +38
- Chase Briscoe +14
- Chris Buescher +11
- Daniel Suarez -11
- Austin Cindric -27
- Michael McDowell -38
- Ty Gibbs -41
The Starting Grid
Where: Dover Motor Speedway is a 1-mile concrete oval with 24 degrees of banking in Dover, Delaware.
When: April 30 at noon
Stages: 120-130-150 (400 laps, 400 miles)
Last Year’s Winner: Chase Elliot
Also This Week: The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be at Dover Motor Speedway for the A-Game 200 on April 29 at 12:30 p.m.
A Note: Opened in 1969, Dover Motor Speedway is nicknamed the ‘Monster Mile’ and presents a challenging, but fast track for drivers to conquer. Joe Gibbs Racing Denny Hamlin holds the track record with a 21.559 which he set in qualifying on October 5, 2019.