The finish of the Furious 7 300 NASCAR Xfinity race at Chicagoland Speedway got fans reaching for the edge of their seats watching the two Joe Gibbs Racing teams of Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth wrestle for the lead in a fight to the finish.
By the time the white flag was waving, Kenseth had chased down Busch, pushing his No. 20 Toyota right to the edge, clipping the entrance to the turn three wall when the lapped car of John Wes Townley blocked his groove, stopping his momentum, momentarily.
Then he dove low, performing a meritorious slide job in front of Busch as a last attempt effort. The wily Busch turned his wheel back in a crossover maneuver, diving back underneath Kenseth and motoring on to his 74th win in the series.
All this occurred when Busch had passed Kenseth with 24 laps to go and was told by his Monster Energy team after building up a significant lead that he needed to conserve a lap of fuel. Rolling out of the throttle gave Kenseth just enough insight to catch Busch in trying to pass for the win when the time was just right.
“I thought when I got to him [Kenseth] and I cleared him and drove away by a second-plus, it was over, and I said, ‘OK. Thank you—I can breathe a little bit,'” said Busch, celebrating his fourth win of the season and fourth at Chicagoland Speedway including winning the pole. “Then he started running us back down, and I tried to go back to the top and I was loose up there again when I went back.
“Just had to battle through. He was right there, though. Once he lost his momentum off of [Turn] four, it was over. That was some fun racing, though.”
The Wisconsin native, Kenseth, knew he had a quicker car in the turns after hunting down Busch and was obviously frustrated by the way Townley raced him, causing him to take evasive actions to compete.
“I had the best car tonight, and I got beat by a better driver,” Kenseth said sarcastically. “It would have been nice if he’d gotten the heck out of the way, I’ll tell you that. Chase [Elliott] was very courteous. He was already a lap down, and he moved down and gave us the top, because he knew that’s where we were racing.
“Clyde Torkel (a reference to Townley derived from the movie Stroker Ace), just stuck it right between us. I got around him, and he passed me back when I was trying to race Kyle for the win. That was disappointing.”
Rookie candidate, Darrell Wallace finished third, his career best, with Paul Menard fourth and Ty Dillon fifth.
The average speed of the Furious 7 300 was 136.709 mph with five caution flags for 22 laps. Seven drivers shared the lead 15 different times with Busch beating Kenseth by .0.791 of a second after leading for 102 laps.
The NASCAR Xfinity points battle continues with Chris Buescher recording a seventh place finish maintaining a 25-point lead over Ty Dillon and defending champion, Chase Elliott slipped to third, 28 away from the lead.
Up next for the Xfinity series is the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at the Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, September 27th airing on NBCSN at 1:30 p.m. EDT.