Kyle Busch Survives Wreck-Filled Final Stage at Road America

Kyle Busch

Getty Kyle Busch (center) races at Road America.

The Xfinity Series kicked off the Fourth of July weekend with the Henry 180 on Saturday, July 3. 36 NASCAR drivers headed onto Road America in search of the win and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. However, Kyle Busch completed a stunning turnaround in Wisconsin and captured his fourth Xfinity win in four starts.

The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra did not have an easy path to victory. He spun out early and went off into the grass. He recovered and made his way back into the top 10 but dealt with more issues. Busch went off the track for a second time and kicked up a cloud of dirt and grass. Finally, he collided with another driver with fewer than 10 laps remaining and damaged the front of his Supra.

ARCA Menards Series driver Ty Gibbs had the early advantage after winning the pole, but he did not maintain his spot at the front of the pack for very long. AJ Allmendinger passed Gibbs on the third lap and quickly built up a lead of more than one second. The Kaulig Racing driver continued to hold his advantage en route to winning the first two stages. However, worn tires relegated him to a fourth-place finish.


Wrecks Increased As Laps Decreased

The final run to the checkered flag started out in wild fashion. The majority of drivers headed to pit road for tires, but leaders Allmendinger and Noah Gragson stayed out. The pack made it through two turns before a massive wreck brought out the caution flag and sent multiple drivers back to pit road.

The list of damaged vehicles included those belonging to Busch, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Natalie Decker, and Myatt Snider. However, Busch’s No. 54 Toyota Supra only suffered minor damage, allowing him to continue and eventually take the lead with five laps remaining. He held this advantage en route to win No. 101 of his Xfinity Series career.

The wrecks only continued after the race went green again. Brandon Jones spun while trying to pass Noah Gragson, sending him into the grass. However, he avoided hitting the wall and returned to the track without damaging the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra.

Brett Moffitt, Josh Bilicki, and Ryan Sieg all came together during a late wreck. Moffitt’s No. 02 Chevrolet Camaro flew off the track as parts came to a rest in the gravel. He was able to drive away, leaving debris in his wake.


An Xfinity Series Rookie Left the Race Early

JR Motorsports driver Sam Mayer made his rookie debut on June 27 during a race at Pocono. He took on the Tricky Triangle while driving the No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet Camaro and provided glimpses of his talent. However, a late pit road issue relegated him to an 18th-place finish.

Mayer entered July 3’s Henry 180 with the goal of bouncing back and contending for the win, but he did not make it to the end of Stage 2. He violently collided with the concrete barrier and completely destroyed the front of his stock car. Though Mayer avoided injury.

As analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. explained during the NBC broadcast, Mayer tried to turn left to gain position on the track. However, another car was next to him, which sent the No. 8 back to the right and hard into the wall.

Mayer’s day came to an early end and sent him to the infield care center. However, he tweeted after the incident that he is “safe and sound.” Mayer credited the safety of the cars, as well as the people at JRM that put in the effort to keep drivers safe.

Gibbs also dealt with issues of his own late in the race. He contended with Cindric for the top spot during the final stage, showcasing his speed and using aggressiveness to pass multiple drivers. However, a serious mechanical issue sent him to the garage with 11 laps remaining.

The No. 81 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra lost its transmission, rendering Gibbs unable to shift and stranding him at the top of a hill. The tow truck headed out to Turn 6 and pushed the stock car back to pit road while the other drivers took caution laps around the road course.

The 18-year-old started the day with a different mechanical issue that delayed him leading the field to green. The No. 81 JGR Toyota Supra had a starter problem that forced the pit crew to push Gibbs out of the pit box at the start of the race.

READ NEXT: Practice Issues Majorly Disrupt Kyle Busch’s Trip to Road America


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