· Kyle Busch, the winningest NASCAR Cup Series driver at Richmond Raceway, led the field to the green in today’s Cook Out 400 – Busch’s tenth top-10 start of the 2023 season.
· Leading the Bowtie brigade from the third position at the midway point of Stage One – Busch reported to the No. 8 X World Wallet Camaro ZL1 team that he’s fighting loose conditions all the way through turns one and two, with tight conditions while rolling the center through turns three and four.
· With Stage One running caution free, Chase Elliott maintained a top-10 running position through the race’s first 70 laps – leading Chevrolet to the green-white checkered flag from the fourth position.
· Team Chevy Stage One: Top-10
4th Chase Elliott, No. 9 UniFirst Camaro ZL1
7th William Byron, No. 24 Liberty University Camaro ZL1
· Following a top-five finish in Stage One, crew chief Alan Gustafson called Elliott down pit road for the team’s first stop of the day for four tires and fuel. The No. 9 UniFirst Camaro ZL1 was the fourth car off pit road for the start of Stage Two.
· Running in the top-five through the first-half of Stage Two, Elliott brought his Camaro ZL1 to pit road on lap 121 for four tires, fuel and an adjustment while trying to manage his rear tires.
· Differing strategies among the leaders as the race reached the second-half of Stage Two, some teams opted to split the stage into a two-stop pit strategy.
· Continuing to lead Chevrolet from the tenth position, the second green-flag pit cycle of Stage Two began with Elliott returning to pit road on lap 174 for another set of four tires, fuel and an adjustment.
· Falling out of the top-10 after continuing to battle loose conditions on his No. 8 X World Wallet Camaro ZL1, crew chief Randall Burnett continued to go to work on Busch’s Camaro ZL1. After a set of adjustments during the two-stop, green-flag pit cycle, Busch returned to the top-10 in the closing laps of Stage Two.
· Busch worked his way up into the sixth position to lead Chevrolet to the end of Stage Two.
· Happy with the last two adjustments made to his Camaro ZL1, Busch hit pit road for a scheduled stop under the stage break – taking four tires and fuel; lining up in the sixth position to start the final stage.
FINAL STAGE / POST-RACE NOTES:
· Taking the green flag with 140 laps remaining, Busch remained steady between the sixth- and seventh- positions when another round of green-flag pit stops began. Busch brought his Camaro ZL1 to pit road on for a scheduled stop – cycling back into the top-10 with 100 laps to go.
· Busch’s Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon entered the top-10 as the team prepared for its final scheduled green-flag pit stop of the race. Dillon reported the air pressure adjustment made on his Camaro ZL1 on the previous pit stop was starting to come to him, but was still fighting tight driving conditions when he hit pit road with 62 laps to go.
· With 25 laps to go, Busch continued to climb the leaderboard to the fourth position – holding onto the position until the race’s only natural caution fell with 10 laps remaining.
· With the field coming down pit road under caution, the No. 8 X World Wallet Camaro ZL1 pit crew powered off a fast four-tire and fuel stop – picking up one spot during the race off pit road. At the choose cone, Busch elected to take the outside lane of row two to take the green flag with three laps to go.
· In the final sprint to the checkered flag, Busch led Chevrolet with a third-place finish in his No. 8 X World Wallet Camaro ZL1 – his 19th career NASCAR Cup Series top-five finish at Richmond Raceway.
· With 22 points-paying NASCAR Cup Series races complete, Chevrolet continues to lead the series in wins (12), top-fives (49), top-10s (93), stage wins (18) and laps led (2,344).