With a trip to the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs already secured, Kyle Busch, a Las Vegas native, had a bankroll he could risk. Nearing the end of Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Busch declined calls to pit for a splash of gas. 

“We got to gamble,’’ Busch informed his pit crew during the race. 

 Like every gambler realizes, “sometimes you gotta be lucky,” he told Fox Sports after accepting his first checkered flag at Talladega Speedway in 15 years.

Kyle Busch Avoids OT Melee For 2nd Win This Season 

After alternating leads with Bubba Wallace during overtime, Wallace attempted to block the hard-charging machine of Ryan Blaney. First, Wallace successfully blocked his opponent down low, then moved up for another attempt just as the white flag appeared.  

It didn’t end well for co-owner Michael Jordan and the 23XI Racing team. When bumped by Blaney, Wallace lost control of his car, struck the retaining wall and ignited a six-car brouhaha. 

Busch, running low on fuel, made his way around the accident and into the lead, forcing the final caution flag. The final question remained. Will he have enough fuel to make it to the start/finish line? 

He did, claiming his 62nd career Cup triumph. But when he attempted a victory burnout, it didn’t go so well. It stalled out. 

Oh, well. 

The gambler beat the odds. 

Without his victory earlier this season at Fontana, Busch likely wouldn’t have taken the chance of not pitting for fuel near the end of regulation. 

But, by playing house money, he earned a big payday. 

Ryan Blaney: ‘I’m Not Blaming Anybody’ 

Winless during his previous 55 Cup events, Blaney was in a position Sunday to make a move and end his prolonged skid. The two-time winner at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, Blaney blamed Wallace for attempting too many block attempts. 

“I’m glad everyone’s okay, but in my mind, you can’t make a triple move like that, a triple block,” Blaney said. “You can’t block three times, I don’t know, the runs are so big and as the leader Bubba’s (Wallace) trying to block, which is the right thing to do. But I think he kinda moved three times. I got to go somewhere. I hate for cars to get torn up and I hate for us to be so close to the win. 

“I’m not blaming anybody. It’s just hard racing at the end of this thing and unfortunate that cars got torn up and we missed out on another win.” 

Wallace’s first Cup victory came at Talladega in 2021 and he raced in the lead pack for much of the event, leading 35 laps, but finished 28th after the crash. 

With 22 laps remaining, 33 cars were racing in the lead draft, but were separated by only 1.25 seconds. The situation was perfect for end-of-race conflict.  

When it happened in OT, Busch said: “Sometimes these races come down to that and you’ve got to take them when they come your way.”

He did and the gambler hit the jackpot.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here