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Kyle Busch steals victory in Bristol when Reddick and Briscoe collide

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kyle Busch stepped back in the record book by stealing a victory at the ground-covered Bristol Motor Speedway.

That would say if it was someone else, right?

Busch won his first race of the season on Sunday night beating the leaders while Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe raced for the win. Busch tied NASCAR Hall of Fame record for record winner Richard Petty in consecutive years at 18 years old.

But his song was very different in Bristol than it was six weeks ago when Alex Bowman won in Las Vegas and a furious Busch complained that Bowman is “the same guy (insult) who backs all victories (insults) than ever (insults) ) “. get it. ”

When it was Busch’s turn to inherit a victory, he had no trouble picking up the checkered flag.

“We have one, you know?” said Busch. “No matter how you get them, it’s all about getting them.”

He later admitted he did it “again in one,” but said he felt good.

Reddick was pursuing his first Cup victory of his career, leading 99 of the 250 laps and controlling the race since the final restart with 24 laps remaining. The wheeled traffic gave Briscoe a shot and Briscoe made his move on the third corner as he tried to slide inside Reddick.

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The play was counterproductive and both cars got out of control and Busch, who was running third, simply came out to get his first win.

Busch won for the ninth time in the Bristol Cup – the first time in two dirt races – and was booed by the number of fans waiting for two rain delays that took the first race on Easter Sunday since 1989 to almost four hours.

“I mean, man, I feel like Dale Earnhardt Sr. right now. That’s amazing. I didn’t do anything,” Busch said of the 1999 race in which Earnhardt was booed for eliminating Terry Labonte for the win.

Reddick finished second and committed himself for not holding on to Briscoe. Briscoe went from two laps to 22 and immediately found Reddick on the pit road to apologize.

“I think he was going to come out, anyway,” Briscoe said. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to let you know. I’m sorry. I wish you had won.”

Reddick was understanding and admitted that he should have been more defensive.

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“I don’t think I did everything right. Briscoe was able to get me back there,” Reddick said. “I should have done a slightly better job on my own, I don’t know, I shouldn’t have let him get so close. He gave me back. I worked really hard to do it.

“I mean, you’re running on land, going to move in the final corner. That’s all you expect to fight in your situation as a driver. It made it very exciting for the fans. I should have done a better job and moved away so I wasn’t within reach of try to make that move “.

The rain stopped the race for the second time moments before the race was supposed to be green with 30 laps remaining.

“It’s viscous,” said Busch, who ran second as the rain slid down the track, about the conditions.

From inside his cabin, Reddick knew he had his job for him if he wanted to win.

“One of the best in the series car racing, Kyle Busch, is definitely going to make me win,” Reddick said from inside his Chevrolet.

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But Briscoe overtook Busch when it finally stopped raining and it was Briscoe who wrecked Reddick’s journey to victory lane.

The race was NASCAR’s second attempt to run a Cup race on land and became a damp, muddy mystery when the rain stopped the race and most of the riders seemed clueless about the rules.

Bristol dumped more than 2,300 trucks loaded with Tennessee red clay at its beloved 0.533-mile concrete bullring to help NASCAR add variety to the calendar at a time when the car series is undergoing drastic changes. Fox Sports then convinced NASCAR to occupy the prime time schedule on Easter Sunday, the first time since NASCAR began in 1949 that the Cup Series deliberately chose the date.

NASCAR had held 10 previous Cup races on Easter Sunday in its history, but all due to time-related rescheduling. This intentional event was designed to dominate a family-friendly television audience, just as the NFL and NBA do Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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What the new audience saw was a mass of confusion in the middle of the race because few riders seemed to understand the rules during the first stop. Some riders pitted, presumably because their teams knew the score was stopped under the red flag and would not resume until the race was green.

Busch was among many riders who did not pit, perhaps because they assumed they would climb in the running order. So it was Busch who had his car ahead when NASCAR stopped all activity, but Briscoe, who pitted, was marked as the leader.

Denny Hamlin, who had already been eliminated from the race, was watching Fox Sports and saw what he said was an explanation of the rules that lasted more than a minute.

“What’s wrong with this picture?” Hamlin wrote on Twitter. “As they do sitting in my back now watching, it’s hard to take this seriously.”

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Carson Hocevar, the runner-up in Saturday night’s Truck Series race, posted a meme apparently NASCAR was inventing the rules as it progressed. In fact, NASCAR made it clear in its pre-race video rules that the score would be stopped at the end of the stage and would not be resumed until the race was green again.

The confusion on the pit road indicated that few had a clear understanding of the procedures, which in Bristol differed from the rest of the Cup races. NASCAR held a mandatory pilot meeting before the pandemic in which the rules were discussed; it has since been replaced by a video.

The race resumed, with Briscoe as the leader, still remaining the entire third stage.

DALE JR. TO THE TANK OF THE FOX

NASCAR Hall of Fame member and NBC Sports analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be a rotating guest at the Fox Sports booth next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

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Earnhardt will join Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer on Sunday. He has a record of six victories in Talladega and is the 15-time winner of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award.

“Calling a race from Talladega is an incredibly fun experience,” Earnhardt said in a statement issued by Fox Sports. “You have to be careful at all times. It doesn’t take long for all hell to break loose.”

Fox Sports and NBC Sports split the schedule for 38 NASCAR races. Neither chain had an explanation to share Earnhardt next week. Fox Sports used a different guest analyst throughout the season to replace Jeff Gordon, who returned to play a competitive role at Hendrick Motorsports this season and left the chain with a two-seater.

THE NEXT

NASCAR is racing next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, where Brad Keselowski is the defending winner of the race and Bubba Wallace got his first victory of his race in October.

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Kyle Busch steals victory in Bristol when Reddick and Briscoe collide

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