Kyle Busch comes from the back to win Stage 2 at Darlington
A late caution cemented Kyle Busch’s Stage 2 win at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
Busch, who started the race from the rear of the field, was battling to hold off his older brother, Kurt, when B.J. McLeod wrecked with two of 100 laps remaining and forcing the stage to end under caution.
It’s the 10th stage win for Kyle Busch this season.
Denny Hamlin ended up third, Erik Jones fourth and Kyle Larson completed the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Larson the first off pit road.
On the restart on Lap 107, Larson was followed by Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was penalized for a safety violation during his pit stop and had to restart the race from the rear of the field.
With 75 laps remaining in the second stage, Larson had opened up almost a 1-second lead over Kurt Busch as Kyle Busch ran third. They were followed by Johnson and Brad Keselowski.
On Lap 137 Larson gets held up trying to lap Corey LaJoie, but is able to keep Kurt Busch behind him.
Ryan Newman spun on Lap 141 off Turn 2 after contact with Daniel Suarez to bring out another caution.
All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Kurt Busch the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 146, Kurt Busch was followed by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Johnson and Jones. Larson had a slow stop and lined up 13th.
With 50 laps to go in the stage, Kurt Busch maintained a steady but small lead over his younger brother, Kyle, while Johnson remained in third.
LaJoie tagged the wall on Lap 158 and then ended up spinning out, which brought out a caution. All of the lead-lap cars pit once again, with Kyle Busch the first off pit road.
On the restart on Lap 163, Kyle Busch was followed by Kurt Busch, Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Jones.
With 30 laps remaining in the stage, Kyle Busch held about a 1.2-second lead over Bowyer as Kurt Busch ran third.
Joey Logano fell off the pace on Lap 172 with a flat right-rear tire and was forced to make a green-flag pit stop. He returned to the track in 32nd, two laps down.
On Lap 177, Truex was also forced to pit under green with what he believed was a loose wheel.
After 80 laps, Kyle Busch had moved out to almost a 4-second lead over Bowyer as Kurt Busch remained in third.
With 12 laps left in the stage, Kurt Busch finally worked his way around Bowyer and back into the runner-up spot.
On Lap 95, Hamlin went three-wide to move around Bowyer and Johnson and into the third position.
With two laps remaining, McLeod slammed into the wall to bring out a caution. There would not be enough time to return to green before the conclusion of the stage.
Kurt Busch wins Stage 1 of rain-delayed Southern 500
Erik Jones out-duels Kyle Busch for Southern 500 victory