Kurt Busch passes Larson late for a Kansas Speedway win

Kurt Busch had just the slimmest of leads over Kyle Larson as they came down the front stretch on lap 259 of the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway. Busch went on to win the race, and Larson finished second. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)

by Brian Turrel

Kurt Busch used a family connection and then a sly move to take the lead in the AdventHealth 400 with eight laps remaining. The veteran driver went on to take the checkered flag, his 34th win but only the first with 23XI Racing, a new team started last year by co-owners Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

Though Busch led at the end of stage 2, a slow pit stop under caution on lap 234 dropped him into third place behind his brother Kyle Busch, with Kyle Larson in the lead.

After Kyle Busch made an attempt to pass Larson and conceded his car didn’t have enough pace, he let Kurt move up to second and try his luck.

Kurt had taken the measure of Larson on a earlier pass and was sheltering his tires for a late-race move. Judging that Larson would be weakest at turn 2, he made his move there and had the speed and grip to make it stick.

Once in clean air, Busch’s Toyota was at its strongest and got well clear of Larson by the last lap.

As Busch described it afterwards, “It all unfolded perfectly where I was able to make the move and not lose momentum and break the draft and bring our Toyota home to victory lane.”

Larson finished second.  Kyle Busch finished third and won stage 1. Denny Hamlin finished fourth, and Christopher Bell, who qualified with the fastest time, led 37 laps and finished fifth.

Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Tyrone Garner was in attendance and reflected on the event before the race.

“This is awesome, having people from all over the country come and converge on Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. It really highlights how awesome our community is,” the mayor said.

“Really, you couldn’t ask for a better venue, when you talk about NASCAR and the longstanding partnership Wyandotte County’s had.”

“I’m optimistic about the future,” Garner added. “This is a good example of the value of positive partnerships we have with entities such as NASCAR.”

NASCAR racing returns to Kansas Speedway with the Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 on Sept. 10 and the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 on Sept. 11.

Kurt Busch celebrated with his team in victory lane after the race. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Tyrone Garner got an embrace from driver Bubba Wallace during pre-race introductions. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Morning storms cleared in time for an afternoon of racing action at Kansas Speedway. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Kurt Busch led Kyle Busch around turn 4. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Kurt Busch greeted Sen. Roger Marshall before the race. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Christopher Bell’s pit crew sprinted to their stations during a pit stop. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
A fan looked out at the speedway stands from the infield. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Daniel Suarez’s Chevrolet showed some wear and tear from hitting the wall on lap 63. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
The base color guard from Whiteman Air Force Base presented the colors before the race. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Kurt Busch, wearing pants that matched his race car, walked to pit road before the race. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Friends enjoyed the warm weather and racing action from the Kansas Speedway stands. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Ross Chastain raced for the title sponsor in the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Kurt Busch crossed the finish line under the checkered flag for the race win. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)
Austin Cindric and Chase Elliott raced wheel to wheel around turn 4. (Photo copyright 2022 by Brian Turrel)

Hamlin wins at Kansas Speedway on late restart

Denny Hamlin (11) crossed the start-finish line on the final restart at the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)
 

by Brian Turrel

Denny Hamlin won Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at the Kansas Speedway, fending off Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch in a single-lap restart, needed after a wreck on a previous restart.

After the race, Hamlin credited crew chief Chris Gabeheart for making adjustments to give him a “dominant car” in the second half of the race. Hamlin overtook Martin Truex Jr. shortly after the end of the race’s second stage in lap 160.

Hamlin also credited Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch with a well-timed push on the restart that positioned him to get out in front of the field and protect his lead.

Chase Elliott finished second, earning just enough points to edge Brad Keselowski for the final spot to advance in the NASCAR playoffs. Kyle Busch finished third.

Denny Hamlin hoisted the trophy after winning the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Denny Hamlin’s crew celebrated by dousing his car in victory lane. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Denny Hamlin’s crew celebrated in the pits as their driver crossed the finish line. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Racing team owner and pro football hall of fame coach Joe Gibbs congratulated Hamlin’s crew after the win. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Country artist Casey Donahew performed a concert before the race. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Martin Truex Jr. went through some last-minute checks before the race. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Parker Kligerman (96) raced in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Joey Logano (22) kept the outside lane against Clint Bowyer (14) in turn 2. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

William Byron (24), Daniel Hemric (8) and Reed Sorenson (77) raced three wide out of turn 4. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

Lugnuts flew as Alex Bowman’s pit crew sprang into action. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)

 

A B-2 bomber, the Spirit of Washington, flew over before the start of the race. (Copyright 2019 by Brian Turrel)