Kyle Busch sweeps past John Hunter Nemechek on final turn to win ARCA CRA late-model event

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. – In an exciting finish that featured plenty of beating and banging, Kyle Busch waited until the final turn of the final lap to get by John Hunter Nemechek and win Friday night’s ARCA CRA Super Series Circle City 100 late-model event at Lucas Oil Raceway.

“It was a fun race, I enjoyed it,” Busch said. “We’ve had a lot of great runs in this late model car over the years. I won the race the same way Earnhardt would. There’s opportunities like young guys like John Hunter that’s going to take them a long ways.

“I just timed it right. I got alongside him and it was a drag race from there. I had just enough. … He blocked me for 85 laps or whatever, but we had enough at the end.”

Busch defeated Nemechek, son of Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series driver Joe Nemecheck, by 0.024 seconds on the .686-mile track just west of Indianapolis.

Nemechek took the lead early in the race from Ross Kenseth, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth and held on until Busch snuck past him when Nemechek went toward the middle of the track, Busch went to the top and held on to steal away what looked like a certain win for Nemechek.

“It was definitely an awesome run,” Nemechek said. “It just sucks to lose it after leading all those laps, but if you’re going to lose it it’s best to do it to the guy who won it.”

Chad Finley finished third, followed by Alec Caril, Traves Braden, Willie Allen, Wes Griffith, Jr., Ross Kenseth, Todd Gilliland (son of Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland) and Brandon Oakley in 10th.

From 11th to 20th it was Brian Campbell, Will Kimmel, Mark Lambert, Rick Turner, Jeff Canon, David Ragan (yes, the Sprint Cup driver), Trey Jarrell, Thomas Woodin, Mike Lichfield and Jeep Pflum.

From 21st through 27th were Paul Shafer Jr., Matt Hall, Tommy St. John, Zane Smith, Justin Claucherty, Ali Kern and Justin Ashburn.

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III