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Race Recap for the Xfinity 500

Date: Nov. 1, 2020
Event: Xfinity 500 (Round 35 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: 500 laps, broken into three stages (130 laps/130 laps/240 laps)

Start/Finish: 9th/9th (Running, completed 500 of 500 laps)

Point Standing: 9th (2,307 points)

 

Race Winner: Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

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

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130):

● Kyle Busch started ninth and finished seventh, earning four bonus points.

● The M&M’S driver started ninth and moved up to eighth when the competition caution waved on lap 60.

● Busch came to pit road for the first time on lap 63 to take on four tires, fuel, and adjustments, restarting eighth.

● The defending Cup Series champion hung within the top-10 for much of the rest of the stage, making it up to seventh by lap 130.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260):

● Busch started first and finished sixth, earning five bonus points.

● Crew chief Adam Stevens elected to keep Busch out in between stages, as he assumed the lead to start Stage 2.

● Busch fell to fifth by lap 192, as he told Stevens he had too tight handling of a racecar, as Stevens called him to pit road on lap 217 and restarted 17th on lap 221.

● Busch was able to work his way up through the field on fresh tires, as he moved up to eighth by lap 234 and up to sixth by the end of Stage 2.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 261-500):

● Busch started fourth and finished ninth.

● The M&M’S driver came to pit road following Stage 2 to take on four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment, as he told Stevens his car was still too tight. He restarted fourth to start the final stage after quick work by the No. 18 pit crew.

● While running in seventh, the caution waved on lap 352, giving Busch an opportunity to pit on lap 353 for four tires and fuel, as he restarted in ninth on lap 359.

● Busch dropped to 11th by lap 400, but a timely caution shortly thereafter gave him an opportunity to come down pit road for tires, fuel and adjustments, as the M&M’S over-the-wall team vaulted him all the way up to fifth coming off pit road.

 The M&M’S driver dropped to seventh by lap 441, but a caution on lap 441 brought Busch down pit road one lap later, as he restarted in sixth.

● Busch wasn’t able to hold onto seventh and slipped to ninth by the time the checkered flag fell.

Notes:

● Busch’s ninth-place finish was his 20th top-10 in 31 starts at Martinsville.

● Busch now has 17 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes with just one race remaining in 2020.

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

“We had a decent day with our M&M’S Camry. The guys did a nice job on pit road all day and gained us a lot of spots, but we just couldn’t find the right handling and we would slip back on many of the runs. Just didn’t have much on the last run of the race so ended up ninth. We’ll take that and move onto Phoenix.”

Next Up: 

The NASCAR Cup Series season finale is Sunday, Nov. 8 at Phoenix Raceway. The championship race starts at 3 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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