History was made on Sunday night when Kyle Bush won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The win was made monumental as Bush claimed the distinction of being the only driver in NASCAR history to win at every track in which he’s fired his engine in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Bush led 377 of 400 laps, sweeping the four 100 lap stages. Victory number four in 2018 put him 15th on the all-time wins list, with 47 in the Cup series. His laps led total was 15 shy of Martin Truex Jr’s dominating feat in the 2016 running of NASCAR’s longest race. Truex finished as the runner-up on Sunday by 3.823 seconds.
After the race, the driver nicknamed, “Rowdy” couldn’t contain his excitement.
“This one’s very special,” Busch said. “I don’t know if there’s anything that can top Homestead (the 2015 title race), just with the meaning of what the championship is. But the Coke 600 — I’ve dreamt of this race since I was a kid. …
“To be able to come out here and win the Coca-Cola 600, it’s a little boy’s dream come true. Man, I just want to say that I thank NASCAR, for one, for giving me the chance to come out here and have this opportunity to race for my dreams and to accomplish those things.”
Later in the celebration, Bush expressed what his CMS win meant on his racing journey through the years.
“I’ve dreamt of that – not only winning here and winning the Coke 600 as a kid and being in Victory Lane here for this race, but to just be a force that people (have) to reckon with,” Busch said. “I go across the country and race Super Late Models because I want to win at every single race track. I just want to show that there is no weakness.”
The Bush, Joe Gibbs team dominance could’ve possibly be more of a driver and team duel had Kevin Harvick not had his day end on Lap 83 when his left front tire blew, causing his car to pancake the wall in Turn 3.
Denny Hamlin finished the 600 in third. Brad Keselowski finished fourth and Jimmie Johnson earned his second top five of 2018 ending his night P5. The seven-time champion still hasn’t led a lap this season. With Sunday’s result, Johnson’s winless streak reached 36 races.
“It feels good, but, damn, I want to win,” Johnson said of the night. “I’m tired of running fifth. I’m tired of running whatever it is. We got off on some adjustments today, and it was amazing how sensitive the car was. With some minor adjustments, the car just lost half a second. We had a hard time trying to grasp it and understand it and communicate about it.
“We put it back to the way it was, and it took off and I drove right back up into the top three. Just a very small sweet spot with the car. Luckily, we finished in that sweet spot and got a good finish out of it, including a spin (on Lap 120), and we had a jack break on a stop. We had to overcome a lot tonight.”
This Sunday, the second-half of NASCAR’s regular-season get underway at Pocono Raceway, the “Tricky Triangle.”
Track Talk Episode 13 is below.