Race Recap for the Digital Ally 400

Date: May 11, 2019
Event: Digital Ally 400 (Round 12 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish:      8th/30th (Running, completed 268 of 271 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd (469 points, 9 out of first

Race Winner:    Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford) in overtime

Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

● Kyle Busch started eighth, finished 11th.

● The M&M’S Red Nose Day driver started eighth and held his ground within the top-10 for the first 30 laps of the race, telling crew chief Adam Stevens he was both tight and loose during the run.

● With the competition yellow flying on lap 30, Busch came to pit road on lap 32 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He left pit road in 17th as 11 cars in front of him took either two tires or fuel only.

● Busch did not stay in 17th long. He worked his way back inside the top-10 by lap 50, even though he informed Stevens that his car was very tight, especially in traffic.

● Over the course of the final 30 laps of the stage, Busch was unable to move up much, as he told Stevens his car was way too tight all the way around. He finished the stage in 11th.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

● Busch started 19th, finished ninth.

● The M&M’S Red Nose Day driver came to pit road on lap 83 for tires and significant changes to the car, which included pulling packer from the shocks and a spring rubber. Those changes, coupled with others taking two tires, had Busch restarting 19th for the beginning of Stage 2.

● Busch advanced a few spots to start the stage, but as the tires wore down, he was able to move into 13th by lap 107.

● Despite being loose in the center of the corner, Busch was able to move back into the top-10 and finish the stage ninth.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 161-271):

● Busch started fifth, finished 30th.

● The 2015 NASCAR Cup Series champion came to pit road on lap 163 for four tires and an air pressure adjustment, and the M&M’S Red Nose Day crew performed a flawless pit stop, vaulting Busch up four spots off pit road to restart fifth in the final stage.

● Busch moved his way up through the field, running in third by lap 180 and in second by lap 206.

● The caution waved on lap 223, and Busch came to pit road for tires and an air pressure adjustment. The M&M’S Red Nose Day crew vaulted Busch to the lead off of pit road. However, Busch was assessed a penalty for driving through too many boxes and had to restart at the rear of the field in 13th position.

● Again, Busch caught a bit of a break and got back the track position when a caution waved for an accident involving Ryan Blaney.

● Busch came to pit road on lap 241 for tires and fuel and restarted 10th.

● The Las Vegas native made his move on the restart, making it up to about sixth as a few drivers bottled up traffic in front of him.  Busch didn’t slow his momentum and dove three-wide between teammate Erik Jones and Clint Bowyer, but the squeeze caused a tire rub that necessitated two trips to pit road to repair.

● All Busch could do was get his damaged car to the finish line for a disappointing 30th-place finish.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Red Nose Day Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

“Obviously a disappointing night with our M&M’S Red Nose Day Camry. We thought we had a chance to win there and had the pit road penalty and still had a shot. Someone lost their momentum in front of me and I tried to squeeze through two guys, and we had some damage and had to come to pit road. Our race was essentially over at that point.”

Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Monster Energy All-Star Race on Saturday night, May 18 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 8:15 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 6 p.m. with the undercard Monster Energy Open.