Kyle Busch holds off Erik Jones for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at New Hampshire

Kyle Busch holds off Erik Jones for NASCAR XFINITY Series win at New Hampshire

July 16, 2016

By Reid Spencer

LOUDON, N.H. – Another NASCAR XFINITY Series race, another set of milestones for Kyle Busch.

Leading 190 of 200 laps in Saturday’s AutoLotto 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Busch held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones in the closing laps to claim his 82nd career victory, extending his own series record.

In the process, Busch raised his total of XFINITY laps led to 17,064, once again extending his own record. Busch won for the fifth time in 11 races at the Magic Mile and the sixth time in 10 starts this season.

“I guess they’re big numbers,” said Busch, who ran the entire race on one set of left-side tires and arrived at the finish line 1.499 seconds ahead of Jones, who had taken four tires on his final pit stop under caution on Lap 178. “I really don’t know what big numbers are, and records are made to be broken.

“There may be somebody like me that comes along down the road that does the same thing that I’ve been fortunate enough to do… Running in this series is something fun for me to do, cool for me to do, and it also helps me out and gets me a little more experience.”

Brad Keselowski ran third but didn’t have an answer for the top two JGR cars. Daniel Suarez came home fourth, followed by Austin Dillon.

“We had a decent day,” Keselowski said. “A little better than where we have been, which was something to be proud of, but of course we want to get to Victory Lane with the (No. 22 Team Penske) Ford. We aren’t quite there, but we’ll keep pushing.

“That was a step in the right direction overall for sure.”

Busch may have been dominant up front, but there were compelling subplots behind him, the most noteworthy between Ty Dillon and Alex Bowman.

Bowman, who will sub for ailing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, turned left into Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet off Turn 2 on Lap 76, sending Dillon’s car into the outside wall.

Dillon was convinced Bowman wrecked him on purpose. Bowman asserted his car was forced wide, and the contact was unintentional. Dillon returned to action 55 laps down after repairs in the garage and twice tried to impede Bowman’s progress on the track.

“He tried to wreck me about four times after (the accident),” Bowman said after the race. “I don’t blame him for being upset. He has every right to be upset…

“He drove me way up the race track (right before the contact). He obviously got tight underneath me. I had a ton of wheel in it, and it finally caught. I barely came off the wall. You come off the wall six inches and you tag somebody in the right rear. I hate that for the 3 car, but I definitely didn’t do it intentionally. He can think what he wants.”

Bowman was able to continue despite damage to the left front of his No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet and posted an eighth-place finish. Dillon, on the other hand, was scored 33rd and held third place in the XFINITY standings but fell 48 points behind Suarez, who also expanded his series lead to 15 points over second-place Elliott Sadler, who ran 10th on Saturday.

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