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Kentucky NASCAR: Kurt Busch beats brother Kyle to seal first '19 win

Kurt Busch NASCAR Cup Kentucky 2019

Chip Ganassi Racing's Kurt Busch clinched his first victory of the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season, beating his brother Kyle Busch in a thrilling overtime finish at Kentucky.

Penske's Joey Logano had seemed on course for victory after he battled past dominant stage two winner Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) to take the lead for the first time in the race with 20 of the 267 laps remaining.

But a right-rear tyre blowout on Darrell Wallace Jr's Chevrolet with five laps remaining triggered a final restart and sent the race into overtime.

Logano was joined on the front row for the final restart by Kyle Busch. Both had fitted two new tyres on their final pitstops, but stage one winner Kurt Busch - restarting on the outside of the second row - had opted for four.

With a tyre advantage, he powered around the outside of Logano's Ford and engaged in a battle with his brother Kyle.

The two spent the majority of the final lap side-by-side, and contact was made - leading to a right-rear tyre rub on Kurt Busch's Chevrolet.

But Kyle was unable to hold off his brother. Kurt powered around the outside of Turn 4 and won a drag race to the line to clinch victory and book his place in the playoffs.

The win came one week on from the rain-shortened Daytona round, in which Kurt Busch was wrong-footed by what turned out to be a race-ending red flag for lightning, called one lap after he had given up the lead by pitting.

Erik Jones had briefly challenged for the Kentucky lead in a three-wide moment against the Busch pair after a strong launch at the final restart before finishing behind his JGR team-mate Kyle Busch in third.

Kyle Larson climbed up the order throughout the final stage to end up fourth, despite starting the race in 19th and having been anonymous though the opening two stages.

JGR's Denny Hamlin recovered from a pitlane penalty for an uncontrolled tyre during a stage-two pitstop to finish fifth, assisted by a timely free pass opportunity at the end of the stage to recover to the lead lap.

Clint Bowyer finished sixth, despite also facing a recovery after being caught out when a right-rear puncture for Chase Elliott triggered a caution mid-way through the opening stage.

SHR's Bowyer was one of only a handful of drivers to pit prior to the incident and lost significant track position.

But he was eventually able to cycle back to the front of the field - opting not to pit at the end of stages - leading the race during the opening exchanges in the final stage before sliding back on account of an early final pitstop.

William Byron had cycled to the front with a similar strategy to Bowyer. The Hendrick Motorsports' driver dropped out of contention after being handed a penalty for jumping a restart when on the front row with Bowyer, and finished 18th.

Result

PosDriverTeamCar
1Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
2Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
3Erik JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
4Kyle LarsonChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
5Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
6Clint BowyerStewart-Haas RacingFord
7Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord
8Daniel SuarezStewart-Haas RacingFord
9Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingFord
10Chris BuescherJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
11Paul MenardWood Brothers RacingFord
12Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Roush Fenway RacingFord
13Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord
14Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord
15Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
16Matt DiBenedettoLeavine Family RacingToyota
17Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
18William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
19Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
20Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord
21Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
22Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord
23Darrell Wallace Jr.Richard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet
24Daniel HemricRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
25Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord
26Ty DillonGermain RacingChevrolet
27Matt TifftFront Row MotorsportsFord
28Corey LaJoieGo FAS RacingFord
29David RaganFront Row MotorsportsFord
30Jimmie JohnsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
31Ross ChastainPremium MotorsportsChevrolet
32Landon CassillStarCom RacingChevrolet
33Bayley CurreyPetty Ware RacingFord
34Quin HouffSpire MotorsportsChevrolet
35Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
36B.J. McLeodRick Ware RacingChevrolet

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