- Sports Staff
NASCAR Sports Update: Kurt Busch holds on for hometown victory (9/27/20) By: Josh Scott
Kurt Busch fought off Matt DiBenedetto and Denny Hamlin to win by .148 seconds, in Overtime, in the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. The eldest of the Busch brothers captured his first win of 2020, the 32nd of his career. The victory is also the 42-year-old's very first at his hometown track. Coming into the weekend, Busch had been winless at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 21 previous starts.
DiBenedetto now has two straight second-place finishes at Las Vegas. Hamlin led a race-high 121 laps en-route to his second third-place finish in five races. Martin Truex Jr finished fourth and Alex Bowman fifth. Kyle Busch, Kurt's younger brother, along with Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Chris Buescher, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 10.
Hamlin and Chase Elliott captured stage wins, with Hamlin winning Stage One and Elliott claiming Stage Two. The two drivers have a combined total of 17 stage wins in 2020.
Busch, the 2004 Cup Series champion, was leading during the final sequence of green-flag pit stops with 32 laps to go when the left-rear tire on Jimmie Johnson's number 48 Chevrolet tore apart, bringing out the race's fifth caution. Two more wrecks took place afterward, including William Byron's spin with three laps to go, leading to the race's final restart in Overtime on lap 267. On the final restart, Busch, nicknamed "The Outlaw", snatched away the lead and never looked back while DiBenedetto and Hamlin battled fiercely behind him.
With four races complete in the Cup Series Playoffs, the points standings after the South Point 400 are as follows:
Kurt Busch is the first driver in the Round of 12 to automatically punch his ticket into the Round of 8, the third round of the Playoffs, by winning a race. This is the first time that the 2004 champion has advanced to the Round of 8.
NASCAR returns to Talladega Superspeedway for the second of three races in the Round of 8. The 500-mile race is expected to be a thriller as drivers will look to survive intense pack racing and the always-expected "Big One". Ryan Blaney will look to win his third straight race at the Alabama track on Sunday. The YellaWood 500 starts at 2 p.m. this Sunday and will be televised on NBC.