Chase Elliott may have won the battle and took the Stage 1 win in Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, but Kyle Busch looks like the driver who very well could end up winning the war.
Elliott passed Brad Keselowski for the lead with 21 laps left in Stage 1 and never looked back, except for when he peeked into his rear view mirror.
Kyle Busch started in the rear of the field after his No. 18 car failed pre-race inspection multiple times. Under the caution at lap 28, Busch was also blocked in his pit stall by Daniel Suarez. All of that adversity couldn’t stifle Busch as he sliced through the field to finish second in Stage 1.
Busch entered the night 18 points above the Playoff cut line and is looking to advance to the Round of 12.
Kevin Harvick, the series point leader, was third in the Stage, while Alex Bowman and Christopher Bell were fourth and fifth.
Kurt Busch, William Byron, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top-10 in Stage 1.
Matt DiBenedetto rolled the dice and took two tires on pit road to gain track position, but by the end of the Stage, the fresher tires rolled right past him. The driver of the No. 21, who is looking to find a way to advance in the Playoffs, finished 12th in Stage 1.
Ryan Blaney and Cole Custer were the two Playoff drivers who finished outside the top-20 in Stage 1 as Blaney was 23rd and Custer 24th.
Stage and Playoff Points Awarded in Stage 1:
|Finish||Driver||Stage Points||Playoff Points|