Race Weekend Central

Kurt Busch Dashes Past Brother Kyle to Win the 2019 Quaker State 400

On an overtime restart at Kentucky Speedway, Kurt Busch earned redemption and won his first race with Chip Ganassi Racing.

He won stage one and never sniffed the lead until the end. His final pit stop under green put him in fourth with just a handful of laps remaining. Crew chief Matt McCall opted to put four tires on the No. 1 Chevrolet whereas Kyle Busch and Joey Logano only put on two tires, leaving the duo well in front of the field to battle it out for the win on their own. But a late caution reset the field and gave Kurt Busch had one more opportunity to win. He and brother Kyle dueled in an overtime dash, and Kurt Busch wheeled his No. 1 Chevrolet to victory.

About halfway through stage one, Ryan Blaney and Clint Bowyer pitted earlier than the rest of the field and hoped for pit stops to cycle through under the green flag. However, their wishes weren’t granted. Chase Elliott brought out the first caution with a flat tire on the No. 9 Chevrolet, costing both Blaney and Bowyer. Bowyer recovered to contend for the win, but Blaney never showed race-winning speed.

Stage one featured two more cautions before its end. On lap 55, Corey LaJoie spun his No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford. Then, on lap 64, Landon Cassill and Bayley Currey synchronized spun.

Kyle Busch won a caution free stage two. As the stage wound down, Kyle Busch didn’t pressure Ryan Preece in an attempt to lap him. By not lapping Preece, he allowed Denny Hamlin to receive the free pass to get back on the lead lap.

On lap 178, Jimmie Johnson passed Logano before sliding up the track and into the outside wall. As a result of the contact, Johnson spun, bringing out the sixth caution of the race. Pole-sitter Daniel Suarez received the free pass to return to the lead lap. Suarez had speed early but he was caught speeding on pit road during a green-flag pit stop. He was able to battle back onto the lead lap and an eighth-place finish.

On the restart on lap 185, William Byron started on the front row next to Bowyer. Byron seemingly restarted well, but NASCAR ruled he restarted too soon, resulting in a restart violation that took Byron out of the mix altogether. Kyle Busch noted it looked like Bowyer brake-checked the field, but the NBC broadcasters analyzed the restart and found Bowyer did not brake-check.

Byron managed to stay on the lead lap, but he finished in 18th place. In a race where tire strategy was crucial, his finish was not indicative of the speed in his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Following the overtime victory, Kurt Busch jubilantly celebrated his first victory with Chip Ganassi Racing. He ended a 64 Cup Series race winless drought for the organization.

Kurt Busch’s first win at Kentucky Speedway locks him into the Cup Series playoffs. In victory lane, Kurt Busch openly discussed his NASCAR future.

Kurt Busch has now won at least one race each season since 2014. While he was in a relatively safe position to make the Cup Series playoffs, winning the Quaker State 400, along with the first stage, gives him six playoff points as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs increasingly draw closer.

2019 Quaker State 400 Results

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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Great finish Kurt. Play that video at next family get together. How about those
Dillon boys once again:
Ty 26th
Goof ball 35th
We love you grandpa.



Bill B

Well said!!!!

Carl D.

RCR…. Rich Children Racing. Still, it’s Richard Childress’ team, and if he wants his marginally talented grandchildren race his cars, that’s his prerogative.

Bill B

You are 100% correct.
And it is our prerogative to call him out on his poor decision to let nepotism rule his company as often as we can,


Bringing back the number 3 and putting Austin in it shouldn’t have happened but with the talent available now he shouldn’t be in the car.


I really used to dislike Kurt. His antics with the sheriff and then then the Jerry Punch deal were horrific.
However, he seemed to make strides being a better person and comes across genuine now. Congrats to the whole 1 team! Great race!


I couldn’t agree more. Kurt Busch has grown as a person and brings a plethora of experience, knowledge, and ability to effectively provide feedback to his team and engineers. He is just a racer. I’ve said it before but I am convinced some of Stewart-Haas’ decline in performance is because of Kurt Busch’s departure and the communications he brought to the table. I heard one of the announcers say tonight, “Every team he has gone to he has made better.”


Remember when “Mr. Excitement” Jimmy Spencer punched him in the face and everybody wore “Free Jimmy Spencer” T-Shirts when NASCAR suspended him for it?

Ahhh, the good old days! lol


I remember that. I think that was a good “development” in Kurt’s career too. Similar to when Kenseth put Logano in the fence at Martinsville. While intentionally wrecking or assaulting someone is never a positive thing, I do believe it helped to further develop two young drivers and they became better people and racers afterwards.


I used to think he was a punk too, just like Kyle, but I think alot of his attitude issues had to do with the female he was with at the time if I’m not mistaken. What we know now is she was pretty manipulative and a bad person overall (She accused him wrongfully of physical abuse).

His current spouse is successful in her own right, I beleive, and I think a good person for him. She probably has alot to do with Kurt’s turnaround. I certainly don’t have any inside scoop on Kurt’s personal life but that is my observation about the whole thing.

And I wholeheartedly agree that he makes whatever team that he goes to better. I think Stewart Haas is regretting him not being with them anymore


DAMN “Bubba” Wallace!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But congrats to YURT!!!!!!!!!


I think SHR is having a problem for two reasons. The swift kick of Busch being shown the door. We all know that back story of how he came to be at SHR. And secondly they raced and won many races it seems with a totally illegal part on “Happy’s” car. That is till a astute NASCAR OFFICAL took his job seriously and actually checked! The team has not been the same nor has THE WONDERKIND OF “HAPPY”. Yeah what they won one “after”..showing NASCAR they are the real deal..LOL. Haven’t won since. That super duper guy winning all those races…PFFFTTTT! IMO.


Tend to disagree, based on just opinion from watching races and not researching to back this statement up. It seems that the 4 car has steadily been in the mix in most races until either a mistake on pit road or mechanical failure takes him out of contention. They haven’t been as dominant as last year but then again no one has as each week is a guess regarding car set up.


Thanks Ice. But I still believe that they are rocked because of the extra eyes on their operation. Yeah, is he in the mix? Meh. you think so..I don’t see the consistency..and more importantly these run away “WINS”. No doubt IMO that FIND after almost, ALMOST season towards the end…This was discovered by someone who should have noticed THAT many races ago. Makes you wonder what all these large peeps with “OFFICIAL” looking BS are doing at the track, week after week! Finally one of those “peeps” noticed. That is other issues unto itself regarding NASCAR and their PURITY…of course depending on who they want, or who is leading! I find it odd..”HAPPY” had the clean air (nasty horrors for the whole series, NASTYCAR refuses to see it, imo! Point is, HAPPY hasn’t done what HAPPY “DID” until the “Gotcha” IMO. The whole SHR, while in no panic mode, well..

Thanks ICE! IMO!!!!!!!!!!!!


Does that mean NASCAR really DOES have the fix in for Toyota? I see by Kyle and Martin’s 8 combined wins this season they are clearly still dirty cheaters, only NASCAR hasn’t smacked them down yet! I wonder why? Surely Hendrick is whining and crying every day for them to “make things equal” (so they win all the time) again.


i’m sorry but that last caution for Bubba…..sure took na$car long enough to go back to green. they want races to end with only 2 or 3 laps to go. i guess advertisers have told na$car to give them as much air time as possible when caution comes out with end of stage/race approaching.

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