With no fans in attendance at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday night due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kyle Busch passed on the tradition after driving past Austin Cindric on the final lap of overtime to claim his 97th career Xfinity Series win.
After a crash involving several cars sent the race into overtime, Cindric had a great restart in overtime and overtook Busch for the lead starting from the inside lane. But Busch battled back, driving by Cindric on the backstretch of the final lap and holding on to win 18th overall race at CMS.
Busch has won 210 races overall across NASCAR’s top three series, the most of any driver.
Daniel Hemric edged Cindric for second. Cindric finished third followed by Ross Chastain and Justin Allgaier.
Busch appeared in control for most of the race winning the first two stages, but was assessed a speeding penalty on pit row with 38 laps to go, dropping him to 10th place.
He battled back through the field with the help of a series of strong restarts on the six cautions over the final 45 laps.
Busch drove a No. 54 Toyota sponsored by the Appalachian State University class of 2020.
Busch is in the midst of running all seven races in 11 days at Darlington and Charlotte since NASCAR returned to action after being sidelined for two months because of the coronavirus.
It was a tough night for Darlington winner Chase Briscoe, who finished 20th.
Briscoe, who was looking for his third Xfinity Series win of the season, drew penalties for an uncontrolled tire and speeding on pit road and then sustained damage to his car after hitting the wall with 45 laps to go when Timmy Hill’s engine blew up. Things went from bad to worse when he suffered damage to the right front of his car with 28 laps to go.
Jeffrey Earnhardt pulled out of his pits too early and wound up turning a lap with a jack wedged under his car.
It was the second of four races in four days at the 1 1/2-mile track at Charlotte.
Brad Keselowski won the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night in overtime after a late caution flag cost Chase Elliott an almost certain victory. The Truck Series returns to the track for the first time in more than three months on Tuesday night, followed by another Cup race on Wednesday.