Kyle Busch finally broke through at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday to claim his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win at the track, winning the Heads Up Georgia 250. It was his 77th-career win in the series, adding to his tally as the series’ all-time winningest driver. The win also was the first Xfinity Series win at Atlanta for Toyota.
“This is a pretty neat deal,” Busch said. “Glad to get it out of the way, checked off the list.”
Kyle Larson finished second, and Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Erik Jones, finished third after an early-race penalty for jumping the start sent him to the back of the field. Paul Menard finished fourth, and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-five.
“It just made the day a lot longer,” Jones said of the penalty. “I knew we had the car to do it, but it was just a matter of not burning the tires off while we were doing it and trying to get back up there.”
Busch dominated the race, leading 119 of 163 laps. Those laps led included the first 28 before he gave up the lead for the fist time to Brad Keselowski. Upon taking the lead, Keselowski pulled away and was up by second seconds over a second-place battle between Busch and Larson before a cycle of green-flag pit stops started just before lap 49.
That green-flag cycle was interrupted by a caution on lap 49. After some drivers pitted under green and then others during the caution, Justin Allgaier held the lead at the restart. Keselowski retook the lead after a few laps, but Busch got back up front on lap 73 and led the rest of the way, with the exception of a handful of laps during a round of green-flag stops around lap 100.
Larson got back up to second and tried to run down Busch for the lead and win in the final laps. Larson was able to close in slightly in the final 10 laps, but in lap traffic, he lost the ground he had gained.
“To come out here and to do this today and to beat Kyle Larson — this must be his favorite track or one of the — just being able to move all over this race track, and he’s really good here too.”
Keselowski finished sixth, Daniel Suarez was seventh, Allgaier eighth, Elliott Sadler ninth, and Jeb Burton rounded out the top-10.