In his 18 prior years, the two-time Cup Series champion has won nearly everything a driver can dream of — Darlington’s Southern 500, Charlotte’s Coca-Cola 600, and Indiana Motor Speedway’s Brickyard 400. Although he has won 18 times in the “Great American Race,” his streak has only been continued in his first regular-season race with Richard Childress Racing.
The final overtime saw Rowdy take the white flag fifth, second in the outside lane giving a hard charge to the rear bumper of Joey Logano to charge to the lead in Turn 1. But Turn 2 saw the field fly apart. Before Busch could make a move to try and win the race, he was clipped in the left-rear quarter panel and sent spinning driver-side first into the outside SAFER barrier. The No. 8 Chevrolet paced the field for six laps Sunday night — all of them when it seemed they would matter most. Busch led Laps 197-202 in a race that was scheduled to end at Lap 200.
The first overtime restart saw Busch control the restart alongside teammate Austin Dillon. Busch managed to duck from high to low in an effort to link the Nos. 8 and 3 with William Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “It looked like it was kind of working,” Busch said, “but we got too much separation off of two, and I tried to back up to get to them. And when they hit me, it got me really squirrely, and then Austin checked up and then it just — the accordion happens, and everybody gets running over everybody.”
The wreck that followed triggered another overtime. After another missed opportunity, Busch was left soured at the infield care center.