BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Highlights of Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway:
WINNER: Kyle Busch swept the week, holding off Erik Jones to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. Busch won the Camping World Truck Series race Wednesday and the Xfinity Series race Friday. Busch passed Jones on Lap 445 of 500 when the rookie, who was running the high line, bobbled. Busch secured his 40th career Cup win.
"Erik Jones put up a whale of a fight. That's all I had. I was running with my tongue hanging (out). My arms were jello and my throat hurts, but man that’s awesome." Busch said. "Car might not have been perfect, but I’m never perfect. I never feel like we’re perfect. ... So proud of Rowdy Nation, this one’s for you.”
Busch's victory celebration on the frontstretch included holding up three fingers toward the fans - some of whom were booing - and climbing atop his No. 18 Toyota with a broom.
Busch also swept this weekend in 2010 - the only driver to do so.
"We did almost everything we needed to do. ... We'll just have to keep after it," said Jones, who was signed by Busch in 2013 to race for his Truck team.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Trevor Bayne, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney.
ELLIOTT WHACKS WALL: Contact with Harvick sent Chase Elliott spinning into the inside wall on the backstretch on Lap 396, leading to the seventh caution of the night. After contending in the top 10, Elliott lost a lap in the pits. Harvick restarted in fourth place.
SEEING YELLOW: The sixth caution of the evening flew with 147 laps remaining when Ty Dillon and Bayne had on-track issues at almost the same time. The incident ended a dominant run by Jones.
STAGE TWO: Kenseth stayed on the track in first place during a caution period and put himself in position to win the second stage. Also in the top 10: Jimmie Johnson, Harvick, Newman, Jones, Larson, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer.
CRUNCH: The race’s first major incident occurred on Lap 232 when Austin Dillon’s Chevrolet spun and was hit hard by Jeffrey Earnhardt near the outside wall. Both drivers took their cars behind the wall.
STAGE ONE: Kyle Busch roared to the front on the final lap to lead the race’s first stage. Larson led the previous lap but was caught behind lapped traffic as Busch pushed into the lead. Pole winner Jones edged Larson for second. Following Larson were Elliott, Kenseth, Hamlin, Blaney, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. and Johnson.
A MESS FOR KEZ: The first contender to run into trouble Saturday night was Brad Keselowski. Contact with another car resulted in a flat left-front tire for Keselowski, and a pit stop dropped him four laps behind the leaders.
SALUTE: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final race at BMS was noted during the pace laps as fans in the frontstretch grandstands participated in a card stunt reading: 'Thank You Dale Jr.' Bristol's gigantic video screen that hangs over the infield - known as Colossus - also showed a tribute to NASCAR's 14-time most popular driver before the race.
MORE GOOP: After Friday night’s Xfinity Series race, track workers applied another coating of liquid resin in the bottom lane of the track in an attempt to improve grip in that area. The tactic worked to a degree in Friday’s race.
NEXT: NASCAR heads into its final off week before returing at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 3. Two races remain to qualify for the 16-driver playoff and three slots are available. Drivers who have qualified via wins include: Truex, Johnson, Larson, Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Keselowski, Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Blaney, Newman, Harvick and Hamlin.
(Starting positions in parentheses)
1. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 500.
2. (1) Erik Jones, Toyota, 500.
3. (7) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 500.
4. (5) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 500.
5. (25) Kurt Busch, Ford, 500.
6. (13) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 500.
7. (20) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 500.
8. (29) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 500.
9. (2) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 500.
10. (10) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 500.
11. (21) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 500.
12. (11) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 500.
13. (8) Joey Logano, Ford, 500.
14. (14) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 500.
15. (12) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 500.
16. (27) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 499.
17. (19) David Ragan, Ford, 499.
18. (4) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 499.
19. (9) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 499.
20. (26) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 499.
21. (6) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 499.
22. (23) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 498.
23. (31) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 497.
24. (3) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 497.
25. (24) Danica Patrick, Ford, 496.
26. (34) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 496.
27. (15) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 496.
28. (35) * Corey LaJoie, Toyota, 495.
29. (17) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 493.
30. (30) * JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 493.
31. (37) * Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 488.
32. (36) * BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 482.
33. (32) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 480.
34. (40) Joey Gase, Toyota, 476.
35. (33) Landon Cassill, Ford, Accident, 412.
36. (22) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 394.
37. (28) Aric Almirola, Ford, Accident, 390.
38. (39) Reed Sorenson, Toyota, Transmission, 352.
39. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, Accident, 230.
40. (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Accident, 225.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 95.969 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 46 Mins, 37 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.422 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 53 laps.
Lead Changes: 21 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: E. Jones 1-3; C. Elliott 4-5; E. Jones 6-50; K. Larson 51-63; E. Jones 64; K. Larson 65-114; Kyle Busch 115-117; K. Larson 118-124; Kyle Busch 125-129; E. Jones 130-166; Kyle Busch 167-179; E. Jones 180-197; Kyle Busch 198-202; E. Jones 203; Kyle Busch 204-240; E. Jones 241; M. Kenseth 242-252; R. Newman 253; E. Jones 254-360; Kyle Busch 361-397; E. Jones 398-444; Kyle Busch 445-500.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): E. Jones 9 times for 260 laps; Kyle Busch 7 times for 156 laps; K. Larson 3 times for 70 laps; M. Kenseth 1 time for 11 laps; C. Elliott 1 time for 2 laps; R. Newman 1 time for 1 lap.