Late restart costs Kyle Busch another Nationwide win at Indy (VIDEO)

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Despite not having nearly as dominant a car as he had one year ago, Kyle Busch appeared poised to earn a second straight NASCAR Nationwide Series win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

But after choosing the outside lane for a restart with 24 laps to go in today’s Lilly Diabetes 250, the Sprint Cup star was passed for the lead by Ty Dillon coming out of Turn 1 after the green flag came back out.

Busch never fully recovered and finished second to Dillon, who went on to his first career Nationwide victory by .833 of a second.

“Overall, we just never were as good as we were last year unfortunately,” Busch said. “We never had the car or the opportunity to stay up front. I guess we did get up front but gave it away on that last restart there in Turn 1.

“We came down in there, the car never turned, and the car on the inside – Ty- just drove on by and made me look stupid. He got the lead and it was over from there.

“I tried to maintain with him and tried to do some things early to get by him in the first few laps before I got tight, and as soon as I got tight, he just distanced me and that was it.”

This is not the first time that Busch has had problems with late restarts at IMS in the Nationwide Series.

In the series’ inaugural race at the Brickyard in 2012, Busch dominated the first half but spun out of the Top 5 after a restart to lose his chance at victory.

Busch would get his Indy win one year later in the 2013 Nationwide event, but only after having to pass Brian Scott and Joey Logano after he dropped from first to third on a restart with six laps left.

“Rowdy” made sure to note those instances when he explained why he opted for the outside lane for today’s critical restart. But the change of tactics did not give him the result he desired.

“I chose the outside and they blitzed me on the inside,” Busch shrugged. “It’s just really not working for me in Turn 1.”

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”