Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55):
● Kyle Busch started 10th and finished ninth.
● Busch radioed to crew chief Adam Stevens that he was too tight at the two-thirds mark of the corner.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 56-90):
● Busch started ninth and finished 10th.
● The M&M’S driver came to pit road following Stage 1 to take on four tires, fuel, and adjustments as he started Stage 2 in the ninth spot.
● Busch held his spot throughout the 35 lap stage. He reported to Stevens that he was losing overall grip during Stage 2.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 91-125):
● Busch started 10th and finished fourth.
● The Las Vegas native came to pit road following Stage 2 to take on four tires, fuel and adjustments, as he lined up 10th for the start of Stage 3.
● With the first time NASCAR has experimented with the Choose Rule, where drivers can choose which lane they want to line up at. Busch chose the top line, and made it work on the restart, as he moved up to sixth by lap 96 shortly after the restart.
● Busch moved up to the fourth spot on lap 113 past Kevin Harvick where he ended Stage 3.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 126-140):
● Busch started fourth and finished second.
● With track position in hand, the defending Cup Series champion elected to stay out following the third stage.
● Busch chose the top lane and lined up as the third car on the top lane to start the Final Stage and what would be the final restart of the night.
● The M&M’S driver again made some moves, as he slipped past Ryan Blaney to take second-place with 12 laps to go, but didn’t have anything for eventual race winner Chase Elliott.
● Busch’s runner up-place finish is his sixth top-five finish in 15 starts in the NASCAR All-Star Race.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“It just wasn’t quite wide enough. If it had been a little bit wider and you could carry a little more speed with it, I might have had a chance. I tried to run up there early in the last stage to make it go a little earlier than I probably should have. I went back down because I knew I wasn’t going to catch him (Chase Elliott) or pass him there and I had to do something different. I just tried and I think we inched up a little closer on him, but that was about it. The M&M’s Camry, we’re trying hard and we’re running okay. It seemed like we were mired in 10th most of tonight and then the last couple adjustments really helped us. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) did a great job helping the car and making it better. I got a good restart. I think I went from 12th all the way up to fifth so that was a huge bonus for us getting that track position. Overall, just have to keep fighting. I think that four or five second places this year, what do you do? We just have to keep going. Have to thank M&M’s for supporting us. Interstate Batteries, Snickers, Toyota and Rowdy Energy – we’ll go fight next week.”
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to points-paying racing on Sunday, July 19 with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race gets underway at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.