HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) – Kyle Busch completes a 5-for-5 sweep of what may be his final season of The Xfinity …
HAMPTON, Georgia (AP) – Kyle Busch completed a 5-for-5 sweep of what could possibly be his last season in the Xfinity Series with a late recovery at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Busch finished 0.550 seconds ahead of Jeb Burton for his 102nd Xfinity win and 222nd overall in three NASCAR National Series.
Busch took the lead after a restart from Daniel Hemric with six laps to go. Busch appears to be trying to give Hemric, his racing teammate Joe Gibbs, a useful push on the restart, but instead Hemric loses control and hits the wall.
“I just wanted to hit him forward and straight, but turn him a little aside,” Busch said, adding that the incident made the win “a little weak.”
Busch was hinting that this might be his last season at Xfinity. He reiterated that plan on Saturday, saying he has no intention of returning to Xfinity “as far as that will happen now.”
Busch added, “Never say never, but this is it.”
Busch won the first two stages in Atlanta before having to regain the lead after a final restart.
A week after finishing second to Busch, Hemric was on the edge of his first career before making a restart when he was pushed by Busch with six laps to go.
Hemric took the lead in the final stage after Busch won the first two stages.
Busch has 102nd Xfinity wins and 222 overall in three NASCAR national series.
Noah Gragson was third, followed by Justin Haley and Ty Dillon.
NASCAR only allows Cup Series drivers, including Busch, to compete in five Xfinity and five Series truck races each year. Atlanta was Xfinity Busch’s fifth and final event – and fifth win – in 2021.
Before the race, Busch tweeted, “Let’s get another out.” It seemed like another sign that he has no intention of returning to the Xfinity Series next season.
Busch ran as he was determined to make sure he left Xfinity as the head. He ran for the lead from the start, leading each leg in the first stage and also won the second stage after falling short of Gragson.
With 17 laps going, Carson Ware’s crash into the wall triggered a warning, sending leaders into the pits. In the restart with 11 laps to go, there was another accident when Kyle Weatherman appeared to lose power and quickly fell back out of the lead pack.
Busch will start second, behind Chase Elliott, in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event, the final race before the Atlanta Motor Speedway track is re-paved and renovated.
Austin Dillon finished 11th as a late substitute for Michael Annett, who was able to drive Chevrolet’s No. 1 due to a nagging leg injury. Dillon started at the back of the field. Most NASCAR Cup drivers were not on the track, but Dillon arrived early for Sunday’s race and was available for the replacement role.
One of Dillon’s first radio communications was a request for the names of his viewers and his crew chief.
Heat forced CJ McLaughlin to abandon his 66 Toyota halfway through the final leg.
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