In preparation for the Cup Series debut at COTA Sunday, Kyle Busch outclassed the Xfinity Series field as he led 36 of the 46 laps en route to the victory. The win marks his 98th in the series and 217th overall in NASCAR.
Saturday afternoon in Austin, Texas was anything but a normal one for NASCAR as the Xfinity Series worked 46 laps around the 20-turn course at Circuit of the Americas.
After replacing Joe Graf Jr. in the No, 07 car, Ross Chastain filled in and immediately gave the small team a shot at a race win as they qualified on the front row. Unfortunately, the day was short lived as Chastain went off-course and broke an axle in the process, putting him behind the wall without completing a lap.
Daniel Hemric had a string of problems in the early goings as he suffered shifter problems that sent him to last place and came to pit road just after a caution for Boris Said.
The late caution in the opening stage forced a one-lap dash. Due to leader Kyle Busch and others out front pitting, AJ Allmendinger and Tyler Reddick, driving the No. 31 for Jordan Anderson Racing in their first Xfinity start, led the field and Allmendinger wound up securing his second stage win of 2021.
During the final lap, Noah Gragson went for a spin and his day was over after that, which equates to his fourth DNF of the season. He entered the race 69 points ahead of the playoff cutline.
A top-10 run at the Daytona Road Course saw the return of Miguel Paludo to the No. 8 car for JR Motorsports. However, he suffered a gearbox issue while running inside the top 10 midway through stage two.
Strategies played out again as Kyle Busch and the front group, but Justin Haley, along with others, stayed out and Haley netted his second stage win of the year.
It was all Busch in the third stage as he led every lap and beat the rest of the field by over 11 seconds.
Allmendinger, Allgaier, Kevin Harvick and Austin Cindric rounded out the top five. Harrison Burton and Cole Custer finished sixth and seventh.
It was a big day for Jordan Anderson Racing as Reddick scored a top 10 in the team’s maiden voyage. The team will now seek to qualify at Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend in hopes to compete for the rest of the 2021 season once qualifying goes away.
Haley and Jeb Burton rounded out the top 10.
Preston Pardus and Jade Buford impressed with their top-15 finishes, while Spencer Pumpelly finished 19th in his Xfinity debut.
The Xfinity Series heads to Charlotte next weekend.
Unofficial race results: