Kyle Busch edges Denny Hamlin to win Enjoy Illinois 300

Kyle Busch edges Denny Hamlin to win Enjoy Illinois 300

Kyle Busch held the lead after a late restart and won the Enjoy Illinois 300 on Sunday at Worldwide Technology Raceway.

The Richard Chirdress Racing driver has already won three races, and he has now added a third trophy to his collection. Busch won his first race of the season and finished the race with a race-high 121 laps lead.

Busch managed to achieve his goal at the chaotic race at World Wide Technology Raceway, which featured three red flags, eleven cautions, four brake rotor issues, and five lead changes.

Busch had two victories under his belt going into the race weekend at WWT Raceway: one at Auto Club Speedway and one at Talladega Superspeedway. In the first 14 races, he only led for 76 total laps. He exceeded this amount while accumulating playoff points and positioning himself to advance past the Round of 16.

Busch was also the first driver from Richard Childress Racing to lead more than 100 laps since Kevin Harvick in 2013. Harvick raced from the pole and completed the race in Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway in October 2013.

Denny Hamlin overtook Kyle Larson to finish second, but failed the attempt to outperform Busch. Joey Logano all moved up to the third position as Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top five .

The race stretched from 240 laps to 243 laps due to a late yellow when Bubba Wallace hit the wall. With 56 laps remaining, Busch, the fastest qualifier, overhauled Larson for the lead. A red flag went up after 14 laps after there was fluid from Noah Gragson’s car hitting the track.

A two-hour delay ensued after the red flag was raised just five laps into the race as a result of  lightning. For the first two stages, there were only two lead changes, but things changed significantly toward the end of the race. Throughout the race, the front runners featured five different drivers.

On the 61st lap, Ryan Blaney took the lead after winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday to snap a winless streak of 59 races.

Only two drivers ever held the lead over the course of two stages. Busch took the lead at the finish of the opening stage, earning his first stage triumph of 2023. By the end of the second stage, Blaney was in the lead.

Blaney, Daniel Suarez, William Byron, Michael McDowell, and Kevin Harvick were the Nos. 6 through 10 finishers. Hamlin, who suffered damage in a late crash less than a week ago, was pleased with his second-place finish.

Brad Keselowski took the green flag for the 500th time in a Cup Series race. However, it didn’t go well when he was lapped late in the opening stage due to engine issues. Reigning NASCAR Cup champion Ross Chastain came in 22nd.

First-time Cup Series competitor Carson Hocevar didn’t finish the first part of the race due to brake issues. It was a worthwhile endeavor regardless of the fact he came in last out of 36 cars.

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