Saturday Afternoon’s Credit Karma 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway marks the end of an era for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and what better way is there to celebrate it, than with a victory by Kyle Busch, the 102nd of his Xfinity Series career and his fifth of the season in five starts.
The two-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion led 97 of the race’s 164 laps on Saturday, but ultimately suffered some challenges getting to victory lane for the second weekend in a row. It was on a restart with under 10 laps to go, that Busch – restarting second on the bottom lane — made some contact with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Daniel Hemric, sending the No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra up the track and into the outside wall, squashing another opportunity for Hemric to claim his first career victory. Hemric would ultimately finish 30th.
After running outside the top-20 for much of the afternoon, Jeb Burton rebounded to second-place with a tire strategy play on his No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro, bringing Noah Gragson, Justin Haley and Ty Dillon along with him to score top-fives on an identical strategy. Brett Moffitt, Justin Allgaier, Jeremy Clements, Sam Mayer and Austin Cindric rounded out the top-10.
Finishing in 11th-place was Austin Dillon, who stepped in the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports at the last-minute, as it was determined that Michael Annett would not be able to compete in Saturday’s 250-mile, due to a leg injury sustained off-track, which also took him out of Friday Night’s Corn Belt 150 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Knoxville.
The event featured a total of 10 caution flags over the course of 250 miles, tying the record for most caution flags in a NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. David Starr, Matt Mills, Josh Berry, Gray Gaulding, Brandon Jones, Carson Ware and Kyle Weatherman, all played a part in bringing out one of the race’s many cautions.
Leaving Atlanta, Austin Cindric continues to hold a large points margin over second-place AJ Allmendinger, which has been slightly closed to 74 points. Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier and Harrison Burton round out the top-five in series standings. Jeremy Clements continues to hold the final playoff spot, which the advantage closing to 54 points, over new bubble driver, Riley Herbst.