By Daniella Johnson

In a rocking performance, Kyle Busch overcame a pit penalty, avoided a late wreck and then sidestepped Austin Cindric on the final lap in overtime to win the Xfinity Series race Monday, May 25, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

It was Busch’s first win of the season, ninth at Charlotte and the 97th of his Xfinity career, the most of any other driver. His No. 54 Toyota led 94 of the 203 laps in the Alsco 300 for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch has said he will quit competing in the Xfinity Series when he scores his 100th triumph.

Daniel Hemric slipped past Cindric to finish second, .178 seconds behind Busch. Cindric held on for third, followed by Ross Chastain and Justin Allgaier to round out the top five.

Busch was penalized for speeding in the pits, and Cindric pushed into the lead on the restart. But on the final lap, Busch produced the charge needed to overtake Cindric and outlast Hemric to take the checkered flag.

Since NASCAR returned from hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Busch set his sights on a “seven-race streak” by running in the first seven races in May across three divisions. The tally: Five down, two to go.

After the race, Busch congratulated the 2020 graduating class of Appalachian State — and team owner Joe Gibbs’ family. Two of the sons of the late J.D. Gibbs — Joe’s son — play football for Appalachian State.

In commending the students for getting their diplomas, Busch said, “It’s a little different I know, but hopefully this will lift your spirits a little bit. It was pretty cool to score a win here in Charlotte as always.”

The victory surely eased some of the disappointment Busch experienced last week at Darlington Raceway. He miscalculated a maneuver during Wednesday’s Cup Series race, clipped the back of Chase Elliot’s car and sent the Hendrick Motorsports driver into the wall and out of the race.

On Thursday, Busch won the second stage of the Xfinity Series race but was penalized for speeding in the pits and ordered to the back of the 39-

car field. He made a remarkable charge through the field and battled Chase Briscoe for the lead on the final few laps, their cars touching off the final turn before Briscoe hit the finish line first by 0.08 seconds.

The next Xfinity Series race will be run at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 30. The Cheddar’s 300 presented by Alsco at “The Last Great Colosseum” will be broadcast on FS1.

Alsco 300 results

1. Kyle Busch

2. Daniel Hemric

3. Austin Cindric

4. Ross Chastain

5. Justin Allgaier

6. Brett Moffitt

7. Michael Annett

8. Brandon Brown

9. Harrison Burton

10. Myatt Snider

11. Noah Gragson

12. Riley Herbst

13. Dillon Bassett

14. Josh Williams

15. Jesse Little

16. Alex Labbe

17. BJ McLeod

18. Bayley Currey

19. Joe Graf Jr.

20. Chase Briscoe

21. Mason Massey

22. Chad Finchum

23. Vinnie Miller

24. Tommy Joe Martins

25. Jeffrey Earnhardt

26. Joe Nemechek

27. Brandon Jones

28. Ryan Sieg

29. Justin Haley

30. Matt Mills

31. Jeremy Clements

32. Austin Hill

33. Timmy Hill

34. Kody Vaderwal

35. Jeff Green

36. Colby Howard

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