Irony is a funny thing isn’t it?
Last night at Bristol Motor Speedway, irony was certainly present at the end of the second ever Food City Dirt Race, as Kyle Busch extended his streak of seasons with a win to an astounding 18. But the way he won it, well, that’s where irony came into play.
Let me take you back to Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season. Kyle Busch was leading in the late stages when a late race caution put Alex Bowman in command and Bowman went on to win. Afterward, Kyle was reported on the radio saying that Bowman “backs into every f—ing win” he has. Bowman even made a t-shirt out of it, and donated 18% of the proceeds to charity.
Now, with that in mind, back to the dirt. KFB was running in third place when Tyler Reddick and Chase Briscoe took the white flag. Briscoe undoubtedly had the best car all night and Reddick, hungry for his first win, was just trying to hold him off. When the two drivers entered Turn 3 for the final time, Briscoe “sent it” with reckless abandon. The High Point #14 Ford Mustang started to spin around, and as it did, it’s right rear slightly caught Reddick’s #8 Chevrolet Camaro, sending them both spinning to the inside.
Reddick got his car pointed in the right direction and tried to hustle it back to the line but Busch was able to get his Toyota over the line first. It’s his ninth win at Bristol and his first on the dirt. Ever the antagonist, Busch got out of his car and gave his signature bow.
“Doesn’t matter how you get them,” Busch said of his win. He went on to compare himself to Dale Earnhardt, to the dismay of the crowd. “I didn’t even do anything controversial,” he added. Busch had said during an interview a week ago at Martinsville that NASCAR should “cut the cord” with Bristol dirt. That’s enough irony to make Alanis Morrisette start asking questions.
While Busch was basking in his 60th career win, Tyler Reddick was left on pit road wondering what might’ve been. The Californian took most of the blame himself for what happened between he and Chase Briscoe. Reddick told Regan Smith, “I shouldn’t have let him get close enough to make that move.” As his interview wrapped up, Briscoe walked up to Reddick and apologized. The two shared a gentlemanly handshake and moved on. Briscoe would finish 22nd.
The ending only capped off a bizarre afternoon that included pit stops to clean grille openings due to an unprepared track, two rain delays, and a scoring mix-up that caused Daniel Suarez and Chase Elliott to take themselves out of contention by pitting. Elliott retained the points lead over Ryan Blaney by finishing 8th and scoring stage two points. Elliott also found himself on the bad side of Cody Ware, as the #9 shoved Ware’s #51 Ford sideways and caused him to spin. Ware caught back up with Elliott and showed his displeasure by beating and banging on the sides of the nine.
Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain and Austin Dillon’s nights ended early due to engine failures, and Kevin Harvick was swept up in a crash that broke the suspension on his Ford.
Next week the schedule takes us to Talladega, another place famous for surprise winners and great finishes.
Hopefully the irony stays in Bristol.
Photo credit to @KyleBusch the official Twitter account of Kyle Busch