Race Recap for the Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500
Date: May 31, 2020
Event: Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 (Round 9 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (125 laps/125 laps/250 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/ 4th (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)
Point Standing: 9th (256 points, 114 behind leader Kevin Harvick)
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-125):
● Kyle Busch started seventh and finished 17th.
● Busch moved up to the top-five by lap 42, as he reported to crew chief Adam Stevens that his racecar lacked grip.
● During the second of two competition yellow flags, the Skittles driver was called to pit road on lap 64 for four tires and adjustments.
● Busch came out of pit road fifth, but was informed by NASCAR that he was too fast exiting pit road, a penalty that sent him to the rear of the field, as he restarted 34th on lap 68.
● The Las Vegas native wasted no time moving back up through the field, as he took his Skittles Camry back up into the top-20 by lap 111.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 126-250):
● Busch started 16th and finished fifth, earning six bonus points.
● The defending Cup Series champion brought his car to pit road on lap 130, for tires and adjustments, as Busch started stage 2 in 16th.
● Busch continued to move back up through the field during the early part of stage 2, moving up to 13th by lap 145 and 11th by the lap 199 caution.
● The Las Vegas native slowly moved up through the field, as several cautions helped Busch pick up spots on restarts, and he made his way up to fifth by the end of stage 2.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 251-500):
● Busch started second and finished fourth.
● Busch stayed out between stages, and restarted in the second spot behind Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.
● The Skittles Camry took the lead for the first time on lap 302, moving by Hamlin and extending his lead.
● The caution waved on lap 328 and Busch came to pit road two laps later for four tires, fuel and adjustments, as the No. 18 Skittles Camry came off pit road with the lead.
● Busch lost the lead to Hamlin on lap 363 shortly after the restart, and settled into second-place until he was able to get back around Hamlin on lap 422.
● The caution waved on lap 435 and Busch came to pit road for tires and adjustments, coming out of pit road in third-place.
● A flurry of cautions at the end of the race had Busch having to avoid contact with the leaders on two different occasions. However, Busch could not get back up to the front and brought home a fourth-place finish.
● Busch led three times for a total of 100 laps.
● Busch’s fourth-place finish at Bristol was his fifth top-five result of 2020.
● This is Busch’s 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finish at Bristol in 30 career starts.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“Our race was okay. We were trying to exit pit road two-wide with (Martin) Truex (Jr.) there running my lights and running on the inside, it’s a shorter distance and we got pegged for speeding. That ruined our first stage results. We were able to get back up there a little bit for the second stage, got some decent second stage points and then we were able to drive to the lead. I led for a little bit and thought we had a pretty good Skittles Camry out front. It was a little bit of a struggle in traffic until we caught lapped traffic and it kind of started to mix up the leaders a little bit. I felt like we could make ground back up in that after 30 or 35 laps of a run.
We didn’t get those runs at the end of the race. My pit crew always does a great job and unfortunately we came down leading and then we came out third and losing control of the race lost us the race. They’re normally really, really good at getting us spots and today we just didn’t have one of those days on pit road. We got the result we got and those guys all crashed in front of us. Denny (Hamlin) got a flat after he crashed. The 9 (Chase Elliott) and the 22 (Joey Logano) got together when the 2 (Brad Keselowski) had just got by me so he was already in the lead and I had to check up for those guys wrecking. We fell to fourth and that’s all we had.”
Next Up: The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday, June 7 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.