Like most brothers, Kurt and Kyle Busch likely had their run-ins growing up. On Saturday they had one more.
Kurt wobbled and Kyle nearly got sideways as the NASCAR brothers banged doors battling for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at Kentucky Speedway. Kurt kept the momentum and surged ahead after the two traded paint, winning the Quaker State 400 for his first Cup win this season.
It denied Kyle a series-leading fifth win, which would have been his third at Kentucky.
“You know, racing your little brother every week and watching him win a lot, I’m proud of him. But I’m also proud of him he gave me a little bit of room on that outside,” Kurt said. “He could have clobbered us against the wall, and third place probably would have won. What an awesome run.”
Kurt Busch was in contention for the victory at Daytona International Speedway last week. He pitted and surrendered the lead moments before lightning ended the race. Fittingly, Busch provided some thunder bellowing to the crowd “Hell yeah!” during his front-stretch interview.
The race, scheduled for 267 laps on the 1.5-mile track, went overtime with two extra laps following a late caution. Kurt led off the restart before Kyle – who led a race-high 72 laps – pulled alongside. The sibling rivalry stayed that way until exiting turn four.
Kyle drove deep into turn four and his momentum carried him up the track. He didn’t have the room to clear Kurt, instead touching doors. Kurt scrapped the wall but held on.
“I knew I cleared him into (turn three), and if I just stayed on the gas I was never going to make the exit,” Kyle said. “I was going to plow the fence. But maybe I should have just gotten in front of him and messed up his air.
“You know, no hard feelings and we move on.”
Erik Jones, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin finished among the top five. Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Newman and Chris Buescher rounded out the top 10.