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BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Chris Buescher appeared to be one of the few drivers capable of keeping Kyle Busch out of victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Then a late caution screwed up his strategy, and Busch found a way to win yet another Xfinity Series race at the Tennessee track.
Buescher ran out of gas on the restart of a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish Friday night. It allowed Busch to sail past the leader on the restart for his eighth series victory at Bristol.
"I just saved as much as we could, I let (Buescher) go," Busch said. "I wasn't sure if they were going to make it on fuel and obviously they cut it close. A little too close."
The win was the 73rd series victory for Busch, who holds the record for most wins in NASCAR's second tier series. It also was Busch's third win in six Xfinity Series starts this year, which began with a crash in the season-opener at Daytona that sidelined him for 11 weeks with a broken right leg and broken left foot.
But he and Joe Gibbs Racing have been on a tear since his return: Busch starts second in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race sandwiched between teammates Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards as JGR tries for its 10th Cup win of the year.
Buescher was leading when the eighth caution of the race fell with five laps remaining. It set up a green-white-checkered finish, and Buescher bobbled on the restart as his Ford ran out of gas.
He faded to 11th.
"Just ran out of fuel," he said. "Lost it in the pickup. I'm mad. We were so good, we knew we were good all day."
Kyle Larson finished second and was followed by Hamlin as full-time Cup drivers took the top three spots. Ty Dilllon was fourth, followed by JGR driver Daniel Suarez, Brian Scott and Chase Elliott.
The fuel miscalculation for Buescher meant his lead in the Xfinity Series standings was cut to 19 by Dillon. Defending series champion Elliott is 23 points back.
Suarez finished fifth to pick up a $100,000 bonus from series sponsor Xfinity in its Dash-for-Cash program eligible only to full-time series drivers.
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