Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):
● Kyle Busch started eighth and finished first, earning 11 bonus points.
● The M&M’S Fudge Brownie driver reported early that the car was too tight in the center and exit of the turns. Despite the issue he picked up positions and was in the top-five by lap 18.
● The competition caution waved on lap 25. Busch was in fourth place and reported that the car was too tight through the turns. The team made a chassis adjustment, changed four tires and added fuel. Quick pit work placed Busch in second place for the restart.
● Busch took the lead for the first time on lap 31.
●While leading on lap 55 Busch reported that the M&M’S Fudge Brownie had developed a “forward slide” during this run, getting a little loose into some of the turns.
● As the laps in Stage 1 wound down, Busch started putting cars a lap down. Racing in traffic made the handling on the car worse.
● Busch maintained the top spot to lap 80, winning Stage 1. He reported that the balance on the car continued to get worse.
● The M&M’S Fudge Brownie team changed four tires, added fuel and made a wedge adjustment during the stop. Busch lined up third to start Stage 2.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):
● Busch started third and finished fifth, earning six bonus points.
● The reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion was in third on lap 97, reporting that he lacked rear grip.
● Caution was displayed on lap 99 with Busch in third place. He said he needed the car to be a little more secure to be able to stay with the leaders.
● The M&M’S Fudge Brownie driver took on four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments during the stop. Busch lined up third for the restart.
● Busch was in fourth place when caution waved for a single-car accident on lap 142. He said the car had gotten too loose but trended to the normal side the longer the run went. It was four tires and fuel on the stop. The first four cars off pit road got right-side tires only. This placed Busch in seventh for the restart.
● The M&M’S Fudge Brownie finished Stage 2 in fifth. Busch said the effort to tighten the car’s handling worked too well. The team went back a little on the last round of adjustments, changed four tires and added fuel. Busch lined up fifth to start the final stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-267):
● Busch started fifth and finished 11th.
● Caution came out on lap 170 with Busch in fourth place. He said the handling was still an issue in the exits of the turns.
● An accident on lap 182 involving an handful of cars forced NASCAR to display the red flag. The incident unfolded behind Busch who was in fifth place. Once green-flag racing resumed Busch quietly logged laps in the sixth position.
● Busch reported the car was too tight in the exits during a caution on lap 194. The team changed four tires, made a minor adjustment and added fuel. Some teams elected to stay out while others only changed right-side tires. Busch lined up 10th for the restart.
● The Las Vegas native quietly went to work during the next several laps and was in fourth place by lap 210.
● While racing in third place on lap 226 Busch made contact with the outside wall. It resulted in a flat right-front tire and he had to stop for right-side tires. He was scored one lap down in 21st place once he returned to the track.
● Caution was displayed on lap 234. Busch said the car was still too tight. The caution gave the team the opportunity to take the wave around and get back on the lead lap. This placed Busch in 18th place for the restart.
● Caution on lap 242 allowed Busch to pit for fresh tires. He was in16th and stopped for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● Busch lined up 18th for the restart. He quickly went to work. He was in 12th by lap 255. He picked up one more position before the checkered flag waved to finish the night in 11th place.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Fudge Brownie Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“That wasn’t the finish this M&M’S Fudge Brownie Camry deserved today. We were tight most of the race and I just got into the wall there. We are making progress and think we showed that tonight. We will go back, get ready and head to New Hampshire next week.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday Aug. 2 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.