Kurt Busch wins brother battle, Quaker State 400

by Justin Nguyen

In a battle of the Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle dueled to the finish during Saturday’s Quaker State 400, with the older Kurt ultimately coming out on top for his first win of the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series season.

Daniel Suárez, who replaced the elder Busch at Stewart-Haas Racing after 2018, started on the pole and led until the first caution on lap 49. It was one of five cautions that night, with more coming for incidents involving Corey LaJoie (lap 55), Landon Cassill and Bayley Currey (64), Jimmie Johnson (180), and Darrell Wallace Jr. (262).

Busch became the leader for the restart on lap 53 after the initial caution and led until the green-checkered flag to take the stage victory; behind him were Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Hemric, and Paul Menard.

Stenhouse took the lead between stages and led until lap 104 when Ky. Busch claimed the spot. In a relatively clean stage with no incidents, he claimed the stage win ahead of Jones, Austin Dillon, Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Ku. Busch, Ryan Blaney, Menard, and Almirola.

Bowyer led much of the early final stage, with the Busch brothers, Hamlin, Newman, Suárez, and Logano also spending time in front. Wallace’s wreck on lap 262 set up overtime, with Ky. Busch and Logano leading the field to the green flag.

Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

A strong restart by Kurt pushed him to the front, and he and his younger brother separated themselves from the field on the final lap. The two ran side-by-side for much of the lap until Kyle cleared him in turn three, but Kurt maintained his pace on the outside line. Coming to the finish, the two made slight contact that sent Kyle’s #18 into a wiggle though he kept going. Kurt was able to edge his younger brother by .076  seconds to take his first victory of 2019 and Chip Ganassi Racing‘s first since 2017; it is also the #1’s first win since Jamie McMurray at Talladega Superspeedway in 2013.

As Kyle settled for second ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Jones, Kurt’s Ganassi partner Larson finished fourth. Hamlin, Bowyer, Logano, Suárez, Newman, and Chris Buescher rounded out the top ten.

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