Local Sports

Kurt Busch Dominates Kansas for First Win of 2022

Kurt Busch survived a weary day of tire attrition, then pinched his way past Kyle Larson for the lead with eight laps to go, before driving away from the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion to win for the first time at Kansas — and give the up-and-coming 23XI Racing team owned by Hamlin and NBA great Michael Jordan its second win ever.

 

Larson had the dominant car, riding the top line around the mile-and-a-half oval, but Busch was able to put his Toyota just about anywhere he wanted. That paid off when the two were side-by-side with eight to go and Busch squeezed by Larson, who brushed the wall and lost just enough momentum to surrender the lead — and the win.

 

Busch pulled his No. 45 car — one of the numbers that Jordan wore during his career — to a stop at the start-finish line and climbed out the window before throwing his arms up in triumph, the familiar Jumpman logo splashed across his fire suit.

 

It was the second win for 23XI after Bubba Wallace triumphed last year at Talladega, and it came at the most unexpected of times; neither of the team’s drivers had finished in the top 10 this season.

 

Kyle Busch, who earlier this week welcomed daughter Lennix Key into the world, managed to avoid the tire trouble and hold off Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott to win the first stage Sunday. His older brother, Kurt, beat him to the line to take the second stage with Elliott again coming across in third.

 

Christopher Bell parlayed his third pole of the season into a fifth-place finish. Martin Truex, Jr. bounced back from his tire issue to finish sixth with Chastain, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman and Wallace rounding out the top 10.

 

The series takes a regular-season break before the Coca-Cola 600 and heads to Texas for next weekend’s All-Star race.

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