For the third NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a row, a driver named Kyle pulled into victory lane, but on Saturday, it wasn’t the usual Kyle. Instead, Kyle Larson won the History 300 at CMS, his second-career series win. As for that other Kyle — Kyle Busch finished third.
Larson dominated the second half of the race, leading 82 laps of the total 200-lap distance. He took the lead from Brad Keselowski on lap 119 and ran up front the rest of the way. After a caution that came out with 30 laps to go, Larson got out front on the final restart and pulled way from a two-car battle for second between Busch and Keselowski in the closing laps.
“I was worried on that last restart, because we weren’t good on short runs but great on long runs,” Larson said.
Keselowski won that battle for second, as Busch was forced to settle for third.
“Kyle (Busch) and I had a great race,” Keselowski said.
Kevin Harvick finished fourth, and Brian Scott took honors of being the highest-finishing Nationwide championship-eligible driver, finishing fifth.
Busch started on the pole and led laps early until Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth took the top spot from him on a restart on lap 29. Kenseth then went on to lead most of the first half of the race until Keselowski got by him on lap 97. Keselowski then ran up front until Larson took over on lap 119.
“I knew we had a good piece, but not that good,” Larson said. “It’s not often you see the 54 (Busch) and the No. 22 (Keselowski) getting smaller behind you.”
After losing the lead early, Busch fell outside the top-five and ran around the sixth position until he got off pit road fourth during the final caution of the race. He then got up to third with 25 laps to go.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Kenseth, Regan Smith, Trevor Bayne, Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon.
– Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images