Kyle Busch burned down the No. 54 M&Ms Toyota as he celebrated his centennial victory in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series by sending circles of smoke into the air on the frontstretch at Nashville Superspeedway.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver continued the party in Victory Lane surrounded by his team, wife Samantha, brother Kurt and son Brexton, who ran in and doused his father with a celebratory water shower.
Busch, who destroyed the iconic guitar awarded to the winner at Nashville in 2009, was asked what he would do with his new, prized Gibson. Although he quipped, “Everybody’s getting a piece tonight,” Busch remained fairly tame as he savored the moment on Saturday afternoon.
“I remember growing up as a kid and watching Mark Martin win every week, you know, in that No. 60 car. You just look at the domination that he had,” Busch said. “Just phenomenal years of being able to have such an association with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. It’s so cool to have M&Ms on board for my 100th win here in the Xfinity Series. They’ve been my longest and best and best sports sponsor there is, in my opinion.
“I want to give a shoutout to Rowdy Nation. I saw a lot of you stand up when Allgaier took the lead and a lot of you sat back down when I took the lead. Pretty awesome day.”
Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Josh Berry and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top five in the Tennessee Lottery 250.
Austin Cindric dominated the first stage. He took the point from polesitter Busch and led the next 53 laps en route to the Stage 1 win. Starting with the second segment, Busch took command. He led 85 of the next 137 laps. He held a four-second lead over Allgaier until Brandon Brown cut a tire and hit the wall on Lap 140 to trigger the fourth caution.
The race returned to green on Lap 149—and Allgaier posted a challenge two laps later, finally passing Busch on the inside. Six laps later, Jade Buford got loose and collected Joe Graf Jr., who retaliated by running into the rear of the No. 48 car before retiring for the day.
Allgaier restarted on the inside with Busch alongside. The pair traded paint coming through Turn 4 while battling for the lead. Michael Annett, who was running fourth, checked up and slid up into Daniel Hemric. After bouncing off of Hemric, Annett turned Cindric nose-first into the wall. Annett continued, but Cindric, the Xfinity Series points leader, finished 31st.
“I wish we would have been able to regain our track position there a little bit better,” Cindric said. “That’s probably the only thing we could have done to avoid getting wrecked there. I drove all the way down to the grass and got right-reared and went head-on into the wall. It’s unfortunate for our Car Shop Ford Mustang.
“We obviously had some speed early and were kind of trying to recover. We got out of the groove there for a while and thought we were making some gains. We learned a lot today, but it’s a shame. Every time we get up to a 100-point points lead, we end up getting wrecked. It’s frustrating, but that’s racing. There’s nothing you can do.”
With an assist from Brandon Jones, Busch jumped out to the lead when the race resumed with 19 laps remaining. Ryan Sieg was jousting with Noah Gragson for eighth when the No. 39 Ford spun in Turn 4. Gragson pitted along with Justin Haley.
Allgaier slid up into Busch on the Lap 181 restart, but the No. 54 Toyota cleared him off of Turn 2. Not three laps later, Sieg sent Landon Cassill into the spin cycle in Turn 2 for the eighth caution and to send the race into overtime.
Busch was solid in the high lane and quickly pulled out to the lead. After taking the white flag, he extended his advantage to 1.110-seconds over Allgaier after chaos erupted behind the leaders.
Kurt Busch beamed from the sidelines, reflecting on his younger sibling’s accomplishments.
“When we first started out we were just a couple of blue-collar kids from Las Vegas,” Busch said. “We just loved to race and we had no idea the wins would start adding up the way they have and it takes. The awareness and the ability to lineup contracts, to line up sponsors, to have good teams and have the team owners embrace what you would call the imperfections of a driver.
"I’ve had my wins, I’ve had my losses. Kyle’s had his wins, he’s had his losses but here he is with 100 Xfinity series wins, two championships at the top Cup level, it keeps adding up more and more. He’s beginning to crest over all of the truck series ownership records—and it keeps going and going. And I couldn’t be prouder.”