Kurt Busch Shocks Playoff Field with Las Vegas Win

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Kurt Busch won the South Point 400 from Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday night for his first career victory at his hometown track.

A caution in the middle of green-flag pit stops late in the race caught most of the leaders — and most of the Playoff drivers — a lap down.  Busch stayed out longer than the others and was able to inherit the lead when the caution came out and the other leaders had to wave around.

Over the final 30 laps, Busch held off Matt DiBenedetto, Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin over numerous restarts to claim his first victory of 2020 and lock himself into the next round of the Playoffs.

Busch said the victory was the culmination of two decades of frustration at his home track.

“You dream of winning at your hometown track, and for two decades it’s kicked my butt,” Busch said.  “I’m in awe, this is what kids dream of when they grow up racing.”

Busch said the victory was due to his crew chief’s pit strategy call finally working in their favor.

“One of those quirky Matt McCall pit sequences finally unfolded,” Busch said.  “We got lucky; I knew the race would come to us, we just needed to get to nightfall.”

Hamlin had one of the fastest cars throughout the race, but he couldn’t get to Busch’s bumper and challenge for the victory in the closing laps.

Hamlin said it was another example of late-race cautions costing his team a chance at the victory.

“Just the same thing as Darlington, untimely cautions,” Hamlin said.  “It’s what’s keeping us out of victory lane.  We obviously had a dominant car today.”

“Really encouraged with the way we ran.  Obviously disappointed we didn’t win and that’s just been the way the Playoffs have gone.”

Unofficial results:

  1. Kurt Busch
  2. Matt DiBenedetto
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Alex Bowman
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Ryan Blaney
  8. Erik Jones
  9. Chris Buescher
  10. Kevin Harvick
  11. Jimmie Johnson
  12. Clint Bowyer
  13. Brad Keselowski
  14. Joey Logano
  15. Ryan Newman
  16. Cole Custer
  17. Aric Almirola
  18. Matt Kenseth
  19. Ryan Preece
  20. John Hunter Nemechek
  21. Michael McDowell
  22. Chase Elliott
  23. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  24. Christopher Bell
  25. William Byron
  26. Ty Dillon
  27. Corey LaJoie
  28. Bubba Wallace
  29. Daniel Suarez
  30. Brennan Poole
  31. Gray Gaulding
  32. Austin Dillon
  33. JJ Yeley
  34. Quin Houff
  35. Joey Gase
  36. Josh Bilicki
  37. Timmy Hill
  38. Tyler Reddick
  39. Chad Finchum