Sunday, April 19, 2015

Why did Kurt Busch pit from the lead late in Sunday's race?

   It's probably one of the most puzzling questions from Sunday night's rain-delayed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway - and that's saying a lot considering all that transpired.

   Why did Kurt Busch - in the lead late in the race - elect to pit for new tires? As it ended up, Busch was the only lead-lap car to pit which left him with a lot of ground to make up once the race went back to green.

   Here is what Busch said about the decision to pit:  

   "We had 100 laps on our tires. I thought we needed to pit. (John) Klausmeier (engineer) thought we needed to pit. Then I was thinking this is the Bristol of old we might be able to get away with staying out. It turned out that (Matt) Kenseth brought it on home to Victory Lane. Congratulations to him," Busch said.

   "We had fresh tires coming up through. (Carl) Edwards pushed the cushion. He hit some ice, I hit the same stuff or he was throwing the marbles out on the track and I just got sucked right in there. I was like, 'I’m avoiding the wreck,' but I couldn’t do anything to avoid them.  We salvaged 15th.  The car could have won."

Pair of NASCAR's future stars battle it out for K&N Series win at Bristol

   They were both 17-years-old, battling not only for a victory in Saturday's K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway, but also for bragging rights.

   And perhaps to cement their respective futures in NASCAR.

   Kyle Benjamin and William Byron battled side-by-side in the last 30 laps of Saturday's PittLite 125 before Benjamin finally pulled away for his first series victory in seven career starts. Byron, who won the series' most recent race at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway, finished second.

   Benjamin, a Roush Fenway development driver, won by 0.910-seconds over Byron, who also runs Late Models for JR Motorsports.Scott Heckert followed in third with Kaz Grala and Brandon Jones completing the top five.

   Eddie MacDonald, last year's winner of this race, rebounded from a spin early in the race to finish sixth with Austin Hill, Daniel Hemric, J.J. Haley and Rico Abreu completing the top 10.

   Bryon takes over the points lead by three points over Austin Hill (128-125) with Benjamin third with 119 points. 

PittLite125 Results

(Start position in parentheses)
1. (8) Kyle Benjamin, Easley, S.C., Ford, 125 laps, 69.968 mph.
2. (4) William Byron, Charlotte, N.C., Chevrolet, 125.
3. (6) Scott Heckert, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
4. (12) Kaz Grala, Westborough, Mass., Toyota, 125.
5. (2) Brandon Jones, Atlanta, Ga., Chevrolet, 125.
6. (16) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 125.
7. (11) Austin Hill, Winston, Ga., Ford, 125.
8. (3) Daniel Hemric, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet, 125.
9. (5) J.J. Haley, Winamac, IN, Chevrolet, 125.
10. (7) Rico Abreu, St. Helena, Calif., Chevrolet, 125.
11. (19) Gray Gaulding, Colonial Heights, Va., Toyota, 125.
12. (20) David Garbo, Jr., Stonington, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
13. (10) Nick Drake, Mooresville, N.C., Toyota, 125.
14. (15) Travis Miller, Chesapeake, Va., Chevrolet, 125.
15. (14) Ronnie Bassett, Jr., Winston-Salem, NC, Ford, 125.
16. (13) Trey Hutchens, Lexington, NC, Chevrolet, 125.
17. (23) Chad Finchum, Knoxville, Tenn., Toyota, 125.
18. (28) Dillon Bassett, Winston-Salem, N.C., 125.
19. (24) John Holleman, IV, Winston-Salem, N.C., Chevrolet, 125.
20. (26) Sarah Cornett-Ching, Summerland, B.C., Toyota, 124.
21. (21) Jay Beasley, Las Vegas, Nev., Toyota, 122.
22. (9) Codie Rohrbaugh, Petersburg, W.Va., Chevrolet, 122.
23. (27) Chuck Buchanan, Jr., Hildebran, N.C., Chevrolet, 117.
24. (22) Collin Cabre, Tampa, FL, Toyota, 100, accident.
25. (1) Jesse Little, Sherrills Ford, N.C., Toyota, 63, electrical.
26. (17) Dalton Sargeant, Boca Raton, FL, Chevrolet, 61, accident.
27. (18) Kenzie Ruston, El Reno, Okla., Toyota, 52, engine.
28. (25) Devon Amos, Rio Rancho, N.M., Toyota, 36, accident.