NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Busch wins in second start for RCR

3 Mins read
Credit: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

In 2005, Kyle Busch scored his first NASCAR Cup Series victory at Auto Club Speedway in a Chevrolet. Nearly two decades later, having returned to the manufacturer, he is once again in Auto Club’s Victory Lane.

Running just his second points race for Richard Childress Racing, Busch led the final twenty laps and held off his new Chevrolet colleagues Chase Elliott and Trackhouse Racing Team to score the Pala Casino 400 victory. Busch started mid-pack but reached the front before passing Michael McDowell, who was on older tyres, for the lead on lap 180.

RCR team-mate Austin Dillon finished ninth to complete a solid day for the two-car outfit. Chevrolets dominated the affair with Camaros occupying the top four and Trackhouse’s Ross Chastain leading the most laps with ninety-one.

With his win, Busch surpassed Richard Petty for the most consecutive Cup seasons with at least one win at nineteen.

“I felt like there was going to be a little bit of a learning experience, a little bit of a growth pattern, but also on the flip side of that, I always just kind of looked back and watched some of their results and success that they had last year with Austin,” said Busch. “He ran second here last year, and (Tyler) Reddick was super, super fast. They were fast at the Clash before they broke, the #8 car was.

“It’s just been really, really cool. We’re making history, but a great piece of opportunity to go out there and continue to win races at a new team with RCR, so I can’’t say enough about Austin giving me a call, first and foremost, but then Richard and (wife) Judy giving me this opportunity to go out here and race for wins.”

Conversely, Busch’s old coworkers at Toyota struggled with bad luck with only Denny Hamlin finishing in the top ten. His ex-Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Christopher Bell led the first lap but was caught in a massive wreck on lap 88 triggered by a stack-up coming to the restart that also collected Reddick, Aric Almirola, Ty Dillon, Ryan Blaney, Todd Gilliland, Ryan Preece, and Cody Ware. On the other hand, JGR’s Martin Truex Jr. placed eleventh after being two laps down for an equipment interference penalty.

Busch is the final Cup winner on Auto Club Speedway’s two-mile configuration before the track is changed into a short track by 2025. Fontana will be removed from the 2024 calendar to accommodate renovations. Busch has five Cup victories at Fontana including Sunday, along with six in the Xfinity Series and two in the Craftsman Truck Series; amusingly, his first memory of the track was when he was booted from the 2000 Truck race, which was sponsored by Marlboro, due to being underage.

“We’ve had five wins, including today, so just a great time at California Speedway,” he continued. “There’s a few in there that I missed out on, but I think it was also here where I was the first person to win two NASCAR races in the same day, Xfinity race and a Truck Series race if I’m not mistaken. Yeah, this place has had a lot of great memories.”

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
1218Kyle BuschRichard Childress RacingChevrolet200Running
2339Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
381Ross ChastainTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet200Running
4799Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet200Running
5104Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord200Running
61311Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota200Running
7166Brad KeselowskiRFK RacingFord200Running
8448Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
9283Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet200Running
10322Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord200Running
111419Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota200Running
12247Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet200Running
13517Chris BuescherRFK RacingFord200Running
14127Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet200Running
152421Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord200Running
162354Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota200Running
172538Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord200Running
182634Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord200Running
193443Erik JonesLegacy Motor ClubChevrolet200Running
203114Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord200Running
212931Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet199Running
222042Noah GragsonLegacy Motor ClubChevrolet199Running
232215J.J. YeleyRick Ware RacingFord199Running
243078B.J. McLeodLive Fast MotorsportsChevrolet199Running
253224William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet198Running
26912Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord196Running
271151Cody WareRick Ware RacingFord195Running
28192Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord194Running
29155Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet185Running
301823Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota172Engine
313677Ty DillonSpire MotorsportsChevrolet140Engine
32120Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota88Accident
332741Ryan PreeceStewart-Haas RacingFord87Accident
343545Tyler Reddick23XI RacingToyota87Accident
351710Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord86Accident
36616A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet75Accident
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