LINCOLN, Ala. - After crew chief Randall Burnett told him to pit for fuel because he was running low, Kyle Busch and Richard Childress Racing gambled by staying out, but the team still found Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway, after a last-lap crash that ended the GEICO 500.
Busch, who only led three times for three laps, missed the incident after the white flag had flown. Bubba Wallace spun out of the lead off the front bumper of Ryan Blaney, which allowed the No. 8 McLaren Custom Grills Chevrolet to move from third to first, giving Busch his second win of the 2023 season and 62nd of his NASCAR Cup Series career.
After waiting 15 years to get back into the winner's circle at Talladega in the NASCAR Cup Series, Busch was all smiles in his post-race interview with Jamie Little from Fox Sports.
"Sometimes you got to be lucky," Busch said. "Some of these races come down to that. You got to take ’em when they come your way."
Busch also made it a point to mention his newest sponsor, McLaren Custom Grills, which is a Winnipeg, Canada-based BBQ company that specializes in custom BBQ grills for sports fans. McLaren Custom Grills was just recently announced as a new sponsor for RCR, and now the company is a winner in NASCAR competition in their very first appearance on the car.
"Just a great day for another new sponsor at RCR with McLaren Custom Grills," Busch said. "If you ain’t got a custom grill yet, these McLarens are pretty bomb, you have to check them out. We have a great time being able to come out and here and race and be part of Team Chevy and Chevrolet and get this Camaro into Victory Lane."
Blaney's No. 12 Team Penske Ford finished second for the second time this season (Phoenix). He led a race-high nine times for 47 laps and was battling for the lead on the final lap where he collided with his close friend, Wallace, who led 35 laps after the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota blocked three runs from the No. 12.
"Yeah, I mean, it’s just you get big runs, take ’em when you can," Blaney said. "I’m glad everyone’s okay, but in my mind you kind of triple move like that, triple block, you can’t block three times, I don’t know. Runs are so big."
Blaney also said Wallace's blocking efforts on the last-lap as the leader was the "right thing to do," adding with the momentum he had that he "needed to go somewhere."
The originally scheduled 500-mile race ended up at 521.36 miles after multiple late-race cautions.
Other Race Facts
Despite finishing in 12th, Chase Elliott and the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet earned the most amount of points at Talladega (44) after winning Stage 1 and finishing second in Stage 2.
In four races, Elliott has more points (120) than both Noah Gragson (108) and Ty Dillon (81), who've competed in all 10 races this season. Elliott is also only one point away from Harrison Burton (121), who currently sits 30th in the standings.
21 different drivers led during the 2023 GEICO 500 from Talladega Superspeedway. The race also had 56 lead changes.
RFK Racing had two cars finish inside the top-five for the first time since July 2016. Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski finished third and fifth at Talladega. Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were the last ones to accomplish this after finishing third and fifth at Daytona International Speedway, according to statistician Trey Ryan.
Not a single driver inside the top-six earned stage points in Stage 1 and no drivers inside the top-11 earned stage points in Stage 2.
Results from the 2023 GEICO 500 at Talladega are listed here.
The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the premier motorsport ranking in the world and it was initially released on Sunday, April 2.
Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which helped determine their seeding during Week 3 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.
The NASCAR Cup Series is the only racing series to compete during every week of the 2023 GRID Ranking. Now, after Talladega, there are no NASCAR drivers in the GRID Ranking top-10, and here is how the Cup Series is represented in Week 4 of the GRID Ranking.
MOST RECENT FINISH
Week 4 of the 2023 GRID Ranking can be found here.
The next race on the calendar for the NASCAR Cup Series is the Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.
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