Kyle Busch has absolutely dominated NASCAR lately, as he has now won four straight national series races, including two straight Sprint Cup races. He won the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday night despite leading less than 40 laps.
Rain Delays The Start
After a two hour rain delay to start the race, the green flag finally flew over the field. Even when the field took to the track, they started the race under a green/yellow situation, meaning that the field was still running pace laps, but they counted toward the scheduled distance.
The race finally began on Lap 6, when NASCAR withdrew the yellow flag. Carl Edwards led the field to the green flag, closely followed by Joey Logano.
Martin Truex Jr. was running in the second position on Lap 16, but he lost a lot of ground when he picked up a piece of debris on his grille. He fell back to fourth place before he cleared his grille. That allowed Logano to reclaim the second position.
The competition caution came out on Lap 29, as NASCAR wanted to give teams an early opportunity to check how their tires were, especially given the rain that hit the track earlier in the day.
All of the teams made pit stops, and Edwards won the race off pit road, followed by Logano. They restarted the race on the front row on Lap 34.
Edwards got a great jump on the restart, and the field went four wide behind the leaders, with Kyle Larson getting pushed all the way up near the wall. The field did eventually settle down, and Edwards ran out front of Truex Jr., and the rest of the field, although he was unable to get a lead of more than one second.
Trouble for Truex Jr. In The Pits
Truex Jr. finally passed Edwards on Lap 59. He held the lead on Lap 73 when the field began to make green flag stops. Once the field cycled through, he reclaimed the lead, despite having a little hiccup during his stop.
His jack man fell in front of the car, forcing the stop to be delayed for an extra second or two. That did not impact him, as once he returned to the track, he opened up a 1.5 second lead over Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. That lead was extended to over 8 seconds when the field made their second green flag pit stops of the night.
Lots Of Trouble On Pit Road
Most of the field made it on and off pit road fairly easy, but Brian Vickers had some issues as he got caught up with another car while entering pit road, and he ended up spinning. Once he got his car straightened out, he was told that he had to serve a pass through penalty for a commitment cone violation.
He was not alone in getting a penalty, as Josh Wise got the same penalty, forcing him to also make a pass through penalty. Paul Menard also received a penalty, as his crew made an illegal adjustment to the body, forcing him to stop again to undo the adjustment.
When the field cycled through the pits, Truex was back in the lead, but his lead had shrunk to five seconds over Matt Kenseth and Edwards.
The third caution of the night came out on Lap 134 for debris in Turn 4. Since most drivers had already made their pit stops, pit road was not a busy place, as most teams opted to stay out. There was a handful of lead lap cars that did stop, but there were no major issues during the stops.
Carl Edwards led the field back to green on Lap 141, with Truex Jr. and Kenseth close behind. He led the next handful of laps until Lap 177 when Truex took the lead from Edwards, just as both went onto pit road for green flag stops.
The big problem on this round was in the Earnhardt Jr. pit, where his car caught fire while he was leaving. The fire was quickly put out, and the car was not damaged, but it was still an interesting time. Edwards won the race off pit road, and, once the field cycled through, he regained the lead.
Caution Breeds Confusion
Truex made a pass for the lead on Lap 209, but did not have it for very long before Josh Wise brought out the caution after he slammed the wall in Turn three. Some confusion then ensued, as NASCAR had to determine who was in what position, which was made difficult due to the fact that there had already been cars on pit road.
Eventually, they determined the order, and the leaders came in to pit, with Edwards winning the race off pit road, although he did not restart with the lead, as Kenseth did not stop, which gave him the lead on the restart, with Edwards in second position.
The green flag flew on Lap 222, and Kenseth easily pulled away, as Edwards had an issue, forcing him to fall way off the pace, and eventually forcing him to come to pit road. That cleared the way for Truex Jr. and Kenseth to battle for the lead, with Busch sitting in third place, waiting for his chance to pass both of them.
Trevor Bayne Gambles With Pit Strategy
The field made green flag pit stops around Lap 260, but one car did not stop. That was the 6 car of Trevor Bayne, who stayed out and led 12 laps before being overtaken by Truex Jr. Bayne, who was having a solid run, was trying to make it to the end on just one stop, which only Danica Patrick was doing also.
Bayne did make a pit stop with just 59 laps left, but shortly after he got off pit road, the caution came out for debris, which sent everybody to pit road, and put everybody on the same pit strategy.
Truex Jr. won the race off pit road, and got the pleasure of restarting from the lead. Kenseth had issues during his stop, as his crew did not get all of the lug nuts tight, forcing him to make a second stop.
The field restarted, but within a few laps, was back under the yellow flag, as Greg Biffle went into the Turn 2 wall after contact with Kasey Kahne. Pit road was open, and most drivers did pit, although Truex and Dillon did not make a stop. Chase Elliott won the race off pit road, thanks to his strategy of only taking two tires, which allowed him to restart in the third position.
The green flag returned with 42 laps to go, and Truex got a big push from Elliott to propel him to the lead, and put Elliott in the second position. They were not racing for very long when the caution came back out after Jimmie Johnson got into the back of Dillon, who ended up going for a wild ride across the back stretch. That accident caught a bunch of drivers, including Vickers.
Kyle Busch Pulls Away From The Field Late
The field restarted with 33 laps to go, and a fierce battle for the lead between Truex and Busch. Busch eventually won out, and took the lead with 32 laps to go.
Busch pulled away late, and cruised to his fourth straight victory, and second straight Sprint Cup victory. The win almost guarantees him a spot in the season ending Chase For The Sprint Cup.
Earnhardt Jr. finished second, with Logano, Elliott, and Johnson rounding out the top 5.
The Sprint Cup Series will next be in action on Sunday, April 17 when they go to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500.