Kyle Busch won the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Friday night in the most dominant way possible, by leading all 250 laps. It was the 17th time in series history that a single driver led every lap in the race, but the first time in a race of more than 200 laps.
“Good car, good decisions and good execution, there, tonight,” Busch said. “This Monster Energy Camry was good. I knew we were in for a different result than what we’ve been here the last couple of times, so I’m pretty pumped about that and pretty pumped about being back in victory lane and being back in victory lane in the Nationwide Series here at Richmond. It’s been awhile if you think about it.”
Nationwide Series championship points leader Chase Elliott won the battle to be the best of the rest, finishing second. Kevin Harvick, who led all but the first 36 laps the prevous weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finished third. Ryan Blaney was fourth, and Brian Scott rounded out the top-five.
“We were looking for grip all night and just didn’t really quite have what the 54 (Busch) had,” Blaney said. “I thought in the beginning we were okay, but the track went away from us a little bit there.”
Blaney and Elliott started the race second and third to pole sitter Busch, while Harvick started the race from the 15th position. Harvick moved toward the front at the trop of the green flag, entering the top-five by lap 40 when he got by Kyle Larson. Meanwhile, Blaney and Elliott continued to run second and third.
Harvick got up to the third spot with just under 100 laps to go. At that time, he had a 4.5-second deficit on Busch and the lead, but he closed in, soon getting by Blaney to take over second.
“It was unique,” Harvick said. “Never thought I’d be rim-riding around Richmond International Raceway.”
The yellow flag waved for the fifth time for debris on lap 166, drawing the field to Busch’s back bumper. But during the yellow, Harvick lost second to Elliott Sadler. As soon as the race returned to green, though, Harvick got back up to second, but was unable to take the lead from Busch.
Busch then pulled away from Harvick, just as he had done with other challengers. But one last yellow flag waved on lap 226. On the final restart, Elliott got by Harvick to take second. Harvick settled into third, while Blaney and Scott battled for fourth.
“I felt like we were better than we were from here in the spring,” Elliott said. “Our car was a little too tight. I couldn’t get turned and pointed like he (Harvick) could, there.”
Finishing sixth through 10th were Regan Smith, Dakoda Armstrong, Sadler, Ty Dillon and Chris Buescher.