SPARTA, Ky. - The ending was certainly exciting, even if not what Ford fans had hoped for. Restarting from the lead in overtime, Joey Logano got shuffled back into the pack as cars bounced off of each other over the final two laps to the checkered flag.
In the end, Kurt Busch (Chevy) bested brother Kyle (Toyota) for the win with Erik Jones (Toyota) coming in third.
The race went into overtime after Bubba Wallace went sideways with five laps to go. Logano, the reigning Cup Series had been leading — out front for 19 laps before the caution — but dropped on the restart and ended up seventh.
Clint Bowyer finished as the top-Ford in sixth and led 40 laps on the night.
Pole-sitter Daniel Suarez kept his position for the opening 49 laps, the most he has led a Cup Series race in his career. He pitted two laps after the first caution came out on Lap 47 due to debris on the track from Chase Elliott’s blown tire. Suarez ultimately finished eighth.
Ryan Newman came home ninth and also led 15 laps late in the race.
It was a tough night for Brad Keselowski who battled mechanical issues and would up 20th after starting third, while Kevin Harvick started fifth and finished 22nd after battling handling issues.
The Cup Series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next weekend, returning to a Sunday schedule (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.
MENCS RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st - Kurt Busch
2nd - Kyle Busch
3rd - Erik Jones
4th - Kyle Larson
5th - Denny Hamlin
6th - Clint Bowyer
7th - Joey Logano
8th - Daniel Suarez
9th - Ryan Newman
10th - Chris Buescher
REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
11th - Paul Menard
12th - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
13th - Ryan Blaney
14th - Aric Almirola
20th - Brad Keselowski
22nd - Kevin Harvick
25th - Michael McDowell
27th - Matt Tifft
28th - Corey LaJoie
29th - David Ragan
33rd - Bayley Currey
POST RACE QUOTES
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang - Finished 7th
“The caution came out at the wrong time. It happens. You try to think through your notebook on how to have a good restart. I thought I was going to have a decent one but I got stopped on the left rear there when Kyle (Busch) got into me. That is what it is. That stopped all my momentum. The 1 had a huge run and I didn’t have anywhere to go. I couldn’t block them all. I tried to stop the 18 on his right rear by side-drafting. I saw the 1 coming and felt like if I could get in front of him that we were so low at the time if I blocked the 1 he would just go to the middle and pass me. I felt like I couldn’t stop the 1. I was in a bad spot. Once I got stopped on the left rear on the restart I was a sitting duck and they just went by me on both sides.”
HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT? “It is frustrating when you are fast enough to win and you don't win, yes it is frustrating.”
WOULD YOU CALL IT GOOD RACING HERE TONIGHT? “Yeah, it was a great race. It was a lot of fun. You had strategy and cautions and it was probably the best Kentucky race we have ever had. If I was a race fan I would say that was a cool finish. I am a little too close to the fire to say it was a cool finish right now.”
DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang - Finished 8th
“It was an eventful night for sure. We just had a fast race car but we got a bit tight. I feel like we made the car better but we never got the track position back. We had a tire going down and then I was speeding coming to pit road because I was wheel hopping because of the tire. It was one problem after another. We were fast enough to overcome that but not enough to get a better finish. I feel like the good thing is that we have the speed we just have to keep working to have a cleaner day and keep working to try to keep that speed the whole race.”
FOR A CAR THAT HAD SPEED AND WAS ON THE POLE BUT NOT TO GET STAGE POINTS, IS IT AN EMPTY FEELING? “It is. I feel like the first stage the call that we made on four tires instead of two tires kind of messed us up a little bit. That is part of it. We made our bed on that. There was one caution after another and we couldn’t recover. After that we had the flat tire. It was just bad decisions and a little bad luck but we were able to overcome with a decent finish.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Haas Automation Ford Mustang - FINISHED 6th
“It was a positive night for us. We finally got some stage points the last two races. It didn’t start out good but we did a good job of working together, staying in it and not giving up. We got some track position and right there at the end, I don't know. Our SHR cars are extremely fast, we show that in qualifying, but they aren’t the best in race trim and traffic yet. We have work to do there and we know that. We are going to the magic mile next weekend but given the month of June that we had, we had to get that monkey shook off our back. Right there at the end, you hate to give up fifth right there at the line but we could have just as easily wrecked in turn one on the restart and had another finish like we had in June. We needed a good solid finish and we got that and got some good positive mojo back with our team and we will build on it.”
RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Acorns Ford Mustang - Finished 9th
“I think we got five or six cars there coming to the white. It was a good run for our Acorns Ford. We still have to get our performance better. The guys did a good job on pit lane but we just have to have faster race cars. We didn’t have the balance quite right but you can’t come to the race track and qualify damn near wide open six-tenths of a second off the pole. We have some work to do and we know what to do.”