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Shocked RCR Crew Deems Kyle Busch an “Animal” After Wild Move Almost Wiped Out Half NASCAR Grid

Published 02/25/2024, 8:00 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Kyle Busch just nabbed a victory for himself at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Craftsman Truck series. Snatching the lead from Grant Enfinger with just six laps to go, Busch managed to keep Ty Majeski and Corey Heim at bay during the nail-biting final stretch. This win came after Busch attempted a bold pass as he crossed the finish line 0.187 seconds ahead of Majeski

The 38-year-old, behind the wheel of the #7 Spire Motorsports Chevy, made a splash in his 2024 debut. Riding high and aiming for another trophy in the Cup Series as well, Busch made a daring move that unfortunately sent Kaz Grala into a tailspin, putting a damper on Grala’s race day.

Kyle Busch was ‘thankful’ he didn’t crash after his risky pass

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Mid-race, around lap 176, Kyle Busch got tangled up with Kaz Grala, who ended up spinning from P9, causing a halt with a caution flag waving. But apparently, lady luck was on Busch’s side, earning him a get-out-of-jail-free pass. The No. 8 team couldn’t help but cheer him on over the radio, calling him a beast for his daring antics in turns 3 and 4. You’re a freaking animal. That 3 and 4 move was wild.” 

Busch put himself in the best position at the final phases of Stage 2, making the move on Grant Enfinger who seemed to face mechanical issues with his truck with just a handful of laps to go. Talking about the pass he made for the win Busch said, “I actually got a run on the 9 truck [Enfinger] down the backstretch. He must have been going flat down the backstretch and slowing down because it gave me — it sucked me up right to him. Then he got loose in the corner. I got loose in the corner. We all checked up trying not to crash.”

He added, “Thankfully, we didn’t. I thought that was a big moment. But then we got the lead right there, and after that, it was about trying to protect it.” The race was the first of five events Busch will run for Spire Motorsports this year, after selling Kyle Busch Motorsports to the organization late in the 2023 season. Busch now has 230 victories across all three of NASCAR’s national series (63 NASCAR Cup, 102 Xfinity and 65 Trucks).

This was Busch’s ninth win at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in all three NASCAR national series and seventh in the Craftsman Truck Series.

Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney were also close to snatching a win at Sunday’s thrill-a-minute NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but ended up just a whisker away in a nail-biter of a three-wide finish, with Daniel Suárez barely edging them out by the skin of his teeth.

Blaney, who’s been wearing the Cup Series champ crown, was at the front of the pack six times, clocking in 31 laps in the lead. But in the end, his #12 Ford missed the top spot by a mere 0.003 seconds, landing him in second place in one of the tightest finishes the series has ever seen. Hot on his heels was Busch in the #8, trailing by just another 0.004 seconds and sandwiched between Blaney’s #12 and Suárez’s #99 Chevy.

Busch was a regular at the front, leading the pack six times over the course of the 400-mile showdown, racking up 28 laps in the lead. “Our Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Chevrolet was one of the top-five cars today at Atlanta Motor Speedway and had a good shot at the win. The #12 car was deservingly one of the faster cars, and with all the carnage, it took out some other guys early. Towards the end of the race, you don’t have that many alliances.”

Busch’s teammate, Austin Dillon, got caught in a tangle on Lap 2, spinning out and taking 14 cars with him into the fray. Dillon managed to stay in the race but had to settle for 22nd place. Busch, looking back on the final moments, said, “I think I was running in second place to the #12 car at that point, and the #99 car was the furthest back. He used the side draft to make the ground back up and win the race. There was nothing I could have done differently.”

Blaney confessed that racing in Atlanta is an adrenaline rush, but in the heat of the moment, it sure feels like a tough break to come up short. On the other side Busch till the end was convinced that the outside won’t prevail.

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#8 did not think the outside would prevail in Atlanta’s finish

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Kyle Busch was pretty bummed about just missing the win, especially since he felt his #8 car was among the top contenders of the day, and he tipped his hat to Ryan Blaney for being super quick too.

But then he mused, “I just got a little too far ahead of the 99 [Daniel Suarez] and he got a good side draft through the corner. I didn’t think the outside would prevail, but with the run down the frontstretch and the side draft, that is what hurt us. I was looking at the 12 and I swore I was ahead of the 12 at the line, but obviously my eyes are bad. Need more powerful glasses, I guess.”

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Now, with Vegas on the horizon, where Busch has been averaging a solid 5.0 finish in the last six races since 2021, it’s gonna be quite the show. He’s really stepped up his game there, and it’ll be something to see him gunning for a win in his own backyard.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta