Kyle Busch emerged as a potential winner in the closing kilometers and prevailed overtime to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway as other leaders crashed or ran out of fuel.
Busch, who wasn’t expected to win the race until the last laps of the race, took the lead when Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney collided while battling for the lead. The collision between Wallace and Balney paved the way for Kayle Busch to take the lead as the result. Kayle Bush took the lead as the race came to a close under caution.
Dramatic finishing is common at the Talladega Superspeedway, and the 2023 GEICO 500 strengthened it with its unexpected finishing. Busch didn’t take the lead until double overtime, but he made it count for his 62nd career victory, his first at Talladega since 2008, and second of the year. At Fontana in February, the RCR Racing driver last visited Victor Lane.
Busch said that it is luck sometimes that leads you to win something. For Busch, the victory in the race was such a lucky way to take the lead.
It was a heartbreaking scenario for Blaney to come in second place after having led for so much of the race’s closing stages.
Blaney was part of the incident that cost Busch the victory since Bubba Wallace, who had been leading the race at the time, had blocked him and crashed before. The win would have ended Blaney’s 55-race winless run if he had managed to hang on.
As already mentioned, Kayle Busch earned his 62nd career victory, his second of the year. Even though his fuel tank was almost empty, he continued to race through the final caution and finished third on the final restart. Similar fuel bets were made by other racers. Later in the race, a competitor at the front named Ty Gibbs ran out of gas and placed 31st.
As the race ended on Sunday, Busch became the third multiple-race champion of the year. He only led three laps and Wallace had 35 while Blaney had 47.
Richard Childress, the owner of the team, claimed that Busch has started a comeback for Richard Childress Racing and gave the credit for starting the discussion that resulted in Busch being given the No. 8 Chevrolet to his grandson Austin Dillon.
Blaney, Chris Buescher, Chase Briscoe, and Brad Keselowski came in last, finishing behind Bush.
Ross Chastain moved toward the middle of the track to attack Blaney for the lead early in the first overtime of the race. Alongside Chastain, Noah Gragson lost control, causing the collision with other vehicles.
Ryan Preece struck Kyle Larson hard as he went sideways behind the leaders. Chastain ran swiftly away from the collision.
With five circuits remaining in the race, Joey Logano altered lanes and was bumped by Corey Lajoie, causing an incident involving six vehicles and the raising of the caution flag. The race was led by Blaney.
With 47 laps remaining, Harrison Burton was in the lead when Noah Gragob touched him in the back during a close draft. Before regaining control, Burton slipped to the inside and off the racetrack. The incident resulted in numerous vehicles spinning out close to the back of the field, bringing out the fifth caution of the race.
Burton was 33rd for the following restart after the accident. Aric Almirola beat Chase Elliot to the finish line by a few feet due to a last-second move that gave him the stage 2 victory and the third among them was Kevin Harvick.
The opening stage was won by Elliot over Alex Bowman and Chastain. Elliot won the stage, his first victory of the year after missing six races due to a leg injury. Wallace was in the lead for 23 of the stage’s 60 laps.
On lap 44, Chase Briscoe lost control of his vehicle as it was entering the pit road, spun, and eventually stalled, bringing out the second caution of the day.
Bubba Wallace comes in as the front group for the majority of the races. Case Elliot, a previous Talladega winner, performed admirably once more, taking first place in the first stage and second place in the second.
Harrison Burton, who has had a difficult season, had been leading the race until a late-race crash sidelined him.
Tyler Reddick had a terrible race when he arrived late to pit road, lost control, and popped the inside wall. On the third lap, Michael McDowell spun out at Turn 4 and he was repeatedly passed throughout the afternoon.
Kyle Busch’s victory serves as a good example of how unexpected Talladega finishes have always been and continue to be. With Sunday’s outcome, Talladega has now seen winners on last-lap passes in six of the last seven races, including three straight.