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Busch Holds Off Allgaier in Thrilling Finish To Extend Xfinity Dominance at IMS

Kyle Busch continued his dominating ways in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by winning the Indiana 250 from the pole Saturday, Sept. 7.

This was Busch’s fourth Xfinity Series win at Indy and his fifth pole in seven starts at the historic 2.5-mile oval. It was also his fourth win of the Xfinity Series season and record 96th career win in the series.

“It was really tough to pass, even when you had a run on guys,” said Busch, who led a race-high 46 of the 100 laps. “You could pass some of the guys that were built more for long-run longevity, the No. 7 (Justin Allgaier) was. You could pass them on the straightaways. But other than that, some of those other guys – the No. 20 (Christopher Bell), the No. 19 (Brandon Jones).”

Busch held onto the lead during a four-lap dash to the finish in his No. 18 Combos Toyota. He restarted as the leader while defending Indiana 250 winner Justin Allgaier was second. Earlier in the race, Allgaier and Busch had a thrilling battle for the lead. The two drivers traded the lead back-and-forth four times in the first four laps of Stage 3. The battle ended when Busch made a daring move to the inside entering Turn 1 and got loose, costing him three positions.

But Busch prevailed this time. Allgaier’s No. 7 Suave Men Chevrolet was on Busch’s rear bumper for the final four laps, but he couldn’t overcome Busch’s short-run speed and his horsepower on the long straightaways. Busch beat Allgaier by .132 of a second.

“Kyle’s great, especially on late race restarts,” said Allgaier, who won Stage 2 and led 24 laps overall. “That’s what sets him apart in the Cup side and here in the Xfinity Series. Hats off to our guys. Our Suave Men Camaro was unreal, especially on the long run. We were able to really push those guys. I knew Kyle’s weakness was the long run, and I kind of exploited those. We had a couple late-race restarts that just didn’t go our way and put us a little bit behind.”

Allgaier led the way for three JR Motorsports cars inside the top five in his No. 7 Suave Men Chevrolet. Following Allgaier in the top five were teammates Noah Gragson in the No. 9 Switch Chevrolet and Jeb Burton in the No. 8 State Water Heaters Chevrolet. Indiana native Justin Haley rounded out the top five in the No. 11 LeafFilter Chevrolet.

Contact between Austin Cindric’s No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford and Busch’s teammate Brandon Jones in the No. 19 First Foundation Toyota in Turn 3 prompted a caution on Lap 89.

On the restart with eight laps to go, Xfinity Series championship contenders Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick crashed while battling for the lead in Turn 2 on Lap 93. That greatly enhanced Busch’s chances of winning.

Bell held the inside line, while Reddick was on the outside. The two drove through Turn 1 side-by-side, and then Bell’s No. 20 Rheem/Parker Hannifin Toyota got loose entering Turn 2 and slid into Reddick’s No. 2 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet.

The cars went nose-first into the outside SAFER Barrier. Both drivers climbed from their cars without assistance, and they were evaluated and released from the infield care center.

Jones won Stage 1 and rebounded from a late-race spin after contact with Cindric to finish sixth. Championship contender Cole Custer finished seventh in the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford, and Indiana native Chase Briscoe overcame a late-race uncontrolled tire pit road penalty to finish eighth in the No. 98 Ford Performance Ford. Rounding out the top 10 were Austin Hill in the No. 61 Aiisin Group Toyota and Ryan Sieg in the No. 39 Alabama Soda & Abrasive Blasting Chevrolet.

The race featured eight cautions for 31 laps, and there were 14 lead changes among seven different drivers.

The Indiana 250 was the opening act for NASCAR’s annual weekend in Indianapolis. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers race at 2 p.m. Sunday in the 26th annual Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line. Visit ims.com to purchase tickets for the race, and visit ims.com/planahead to review parking, gate regulations and more information.

 
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