Race Recap for the YellaWood 500
Date: Oct. 4, 2020
Event: YellaWood 500 (Round 31 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/68 laps)
Note: Race extended 12 laps past its scheduled 188-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 6th/27th (Accident, completed 188 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 9th (3,053 points, 21 points behind the eighth-place cutoff)
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
● Kyle Busch started sixth and finished 31st.
● The M&M’S driver started sixth and stayed in that same position when the competition yellow waved on lap 25.
● Busch came down pit road on lap 27 and took on four tires, fuel and adjustments as he told Crew Chief Adam Stevens he had a good car to start, but trended more to the free side as the run went on.
● The Las Vegas native restarted 15th on lap 30, and held up within the top-five until lap 57 when Busch was collected in an accident in front of him, causing damage to the hood and left side of his M&M’S Toyota.
● Several pit stops were needed for repairs, as Stage 1 ended under caution and with Busch in 31st.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Busch started 19th and finished 24th.
● The M&M’S driver started Stage 2 in 19th, but trouble struck early as the left front tire shredded and caused a caution.
● Busch came to pit road for multiple stops to be able to patch the car together and make it in a raceable condition, as he restarted in the 32nd position on lap 73.
● Busch was riding in 25th when another big accident happened in front of him, and again the M&M’S Toyota took on some damage. Still, the No. 18 team worked again to patch up the beat up racecar.
● Once the red flag was lifted, Busch made a trip to pit road for the team to make repairs and change tires. Because he stopped before pit road was open, Busch had to start at the tail end of the longest line. He lined up 23rd.
● The Las Vegas native cruised during the final seven laps of Stage 2 to finish 24th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
● Busch started 22nd and finished 27th.
● Busch lined back up in the lead draft and on the lead lap for much of the final stage, as he found himself around 20th on lap 145.
● Despite the damaged car, Busch was able to navigate his way up to 12th when the caution waved with five laps remaining, setting up a green-white-checkered dash to the finish.
● On the first green-white-checkered it appeared as if Busch was in the top-10 when he was spun coming through the tri-oval. The damage was too much this time and ended a furious comeback from two separate accidents.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“The car was just real slow due to all of the damage, obviously, so I’m just holding up the line. I was trying to draft off the guys in front of me and I’m pushing too much backwards on the guys that are trying to push me forwards and it creates a wreck. Oh, well. The M&M’s Camry guys did a great job and just wish there was more for it.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, Oct. 11 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway road course. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.