Kurt Busch drives Jordan Brand to his first win in Kansas

Kansas City, Kansas City — Kurt Busch was slowly driving his Jordan Brand-style car toward Victory Lane on the Kansas State Speedway on Sunday when owner Danny Hamm Lin (Denny Hamlin) stopped him, stuck his head out of the window and said, “We did it.”

Do they have.

Busch had a tiresome day with worn tires, then squeezed past Kyle Larson to take the lead with 8 laps left, then won his first NASCAR Cup Series in Kansas – and gave up – to be The incoming 23XI Racing team, owned by Hamlin and NBA great Michael Jordan, had its second win ever.

“That’s the most comforting part, helping these guys win,” Busch said. “It’s all about teamwork. I didn’t do it alone.”

Larson had the dominant car and drove it on a mile-and-a-half oval, but Busch was able to put his Toyota anywhere he wanted. That paid off when the two went head-to-head with eight games to go, and Bush was squeezed by Larson, who brushed the wall and lost enough momentum to give up the lead — and the win.

Bush parked his No. 45 car — one of Jordan’s career-worn numbers — at the starting line, climbed out the window, and raised his arms in triumph, the familiar Jumpman logo splattered on his fire suit superior.

It was the 23XI’s second victory after Bubba Wallace’s win at Talladega last year, and it came at the most unexpected time. None of the team’s drivers made the top 10 this season.

“You know, we’ve let these guys down as an organization — I’m talking about Bubba and Kurt, all the mistakes we made on the pit road and so on,” Hamlin said. “But let’s talk about the positives. I can’t thank Kurt enough. The first game at Jordan Brand, he was so jealous of driving that car, and then driving that thing so fast, yeah, it’s just—I It never felt like that, even if it was a win for me, let alone when I didn’t. It was different.”

There was no bad feeling about the way Bush ran to the finish.

“He never got into me. I was trying to step on the gas to find his spot and then it got nervous,” Larson said. “It was fun to play with Kurt in the second half of the game. I just kept trying.”

No joke. At one point, Larson was nearly sideways as he battled Busch for the lead at Turn 2 with 85 points left.

“Just trying to win,” Larson said. “I struggled a little bit in the traffic and he was able to get past that. I just wanted to hold on to second. It was a tough fight just today.”

One of the major storylines earlier this week was how the tires will behave during the next-gen car’s Kansas debut, especially as several drivers, including Joey Logano, practice their rears. After a problem occurs.

The problem resurfaced in the second phase on Sunday.

William Byron, who was knocked down by Logano during the controversial race at Darlington last week, ran near the front when his tyre came off. Just as Byron was limping down the pit lane, Tyler Reddick, who was off pole, backed up and touched the wall. Martin Truex Jr. had the same tire problem on the final lap of the stage.

“Our engineers are talking to everyone who is having problems in practice,” said Goodyear racing director Greg Stucker, who had advised teams before the weekend to increase rear air pressure to fix load issues .

“We want to make sure everyone is informed.”

Erik Jones’ tire problem was completely different: his team couldn’t remove the rear wheel nuts. It tried all kinds of saws, flashlights and wrenches to no avail, and it was a blow to the Petty GMS Racing team hanging on the fringes of the playoffs.

Kyle Busch, who welcomed daughter Lennix Key into the world earlier this week, managed to avoid tire problems and prevent Ross Chastain and Chase Elliott from winning Sunday’s first stage. His older brother Kurt beat him into the second stage and Elliott finished third again.

Then the same tire problem happened to Elliott, whose tail fell off, leaving him skidding on the track with 70 laps left. Luckily for Elliott, his No. 9 jersey was blocked off the wall before coming to the muddy infield to rest.

Kyle Busch had hoped to take home a trophy for his new baby girl, which he welcomed with wife Samantha after a long public battle with infertility. But despite a strong car all day, he ended up finishing third.

Maybe her uncle can bring that trophy at some point.

“I finally conquered the track,” Kurt Busch said. “I can not believe it.”

best rest

Christopher Bell finished fifth on his third pole position of the season. Truex recovered from tire problems to finish sixth, with Chastain, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman and Wallace rounding out the top ten.

Glory to Ukraine

Josh Bilicki’s No. 77 for Spire Motorsports features the colors of the Ukrainian flag to show support for humanitarian efforts in the war-torn country. Several cities in Ukraine, including Kyiv and Mariupol, were also included in the paint scheme along with the insignia of the Ukrainian-American Coordinating Committee.

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The series takes a regular-season break ahead of the Coca-Cola 600 and heads to Texas for next weekend’s All-Star Game.

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