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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Kyle Busch happy with first stint: ‘Put me in the car, there’s excitement!’

AP Photo/Terry Renna
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Rolex 24 at Daytona debut of the “KB Show” was cut short by a strategy maneuver but still delivered drama and a positive result.

Kyle Busch got the No. 14 RCF GT3 Lexus back on the lead lap and back in contention for a GTD victory at Daytona International Speedway.

“It was good,” Kyle Busch said with a broad smile after a 42-minute stint. “Just, uh, shit, put me in the car, and there’s excitement around! Drove all my way back to the lead lap and everything.

“Overall, we’ve had a good experience and hell I only got one stint in, so I’m ready for more. Sign me up, coach!”

The two-time Cup champion was expected to drive for at least 90 minutes, but the first full-course caution of the race (with 19 hours and 16 minutes remaining) caused AIM Vasser Sullivan to change up its drive plan. Busch was called to the pits in favor of Parker Chase.

“With all the strategy and the way the wave-bys work here, it’s quite different than what we’re accustomed to (in NASCAR),” said Busch, who likely will drive longer now later in the race. “That wasn’t bad. To get ourselves back on the lead lap and back to a position where we can start scrapping again hopefully is what we needed.

“So I got one stint in, but I’m trying to save myself and (teammate) Jack (Hawksworth) for a little later.”

Busch climbed into the car shortly after 6 p.m. as the last of the No. 14’s four drivers. He complained a few times on his radio about traffic, which he said was his biggest challenge.

“There were a couple of instances we ran down a smaller car, and (it was) just mirror driving in front of us,” he said. “That was pretty bad. We lost probably 2 seconds on that. Overall, I guess that’s road racing.

The yellow flag was exactly what Busch’s team needed after being forced to start from the rear of the field when it missed qualifying because of an engine change. Hawksworth, who started the race, said the car was “quick in the wrong places and slow in the right places” after struggling with handling and speed in the first stint.

“I don’t feel we’re out of it,” Hawksworth said. “It’s a very long race. Still early days. We need to work on having speed for the end of the race. The position right now doesn’t really make any difference. We’ll need to find some performance at the end of the race to fight for the win.”