KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kyle Busch raced his sixth NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the year Saturday, making a late pass on Kevin Harvick and holding on at Kansas Speedway.
Busch, also the winner last week at Dover, extended his series-record victory total to 69 with his first win of the year on a 1.5-mile track.
Harvick pulled away in his Chevrolet at the final restart with 40 laps to go, but Busch’s Toyota got around him with 20 to go and won by 0.767 second. Ryan Blaney was third in a Ford after starting on the outside of the front row.
Rookie Chase Elliott tightened his hold on the points lead with four races to go, finishing 10th after avoiding a collision with Jamie Dick shortly after the three-quarter mark in the 200-lap, 300-mile race. That padded his lead to 38 points.
Regan Smith, who came into the race 26 points behind JR Motorsports teammate Elliott, crashed in practice Saturday morning and finished 22nd in a backup car.
Paul Menard was fourth, followed by pole winner Ty Dillon, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Trevor Bayne, Brian Scott and Elliott.
The race was marred by nine cautions for 42 total laps, and by the midpoint of the race only 22 drivers remained on the lead lap. With 50 laps remaining, that number had dropped to 11 — and 12 drivers were out of the race.
The dropouts included rookie Chris Buescher, who started third and led 20 of the first 90 laps before a collision with Kyle Larson with 110 laps remaining. Larson’s car got loose and then drifted across the track into Buescher’s path, the collision peeling away the right-side panels of Buescher’s Ford. He went behind the wall for emergency repairs and was 49 laps down when he returned, finishing 28th and 51 laps down.
But the day was roughest on Smith.
Smith, who signed an extension Wednesday through 2015 with JR Motorsports, qualified 24th and then had to start at the rear after his crash in practice. He was well back in the pack when a swaybar arm fell of his car with just over 50 laps to go, forcing him behind the wall, and he finished seven laps down.
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