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Kyle Busch Makes History as the First Winner of the Kentucky 400

By D. Brian Smith
Photography: Ben Moment

A race that was 10 years in the planning went on with nary a snafu, save for all the fans getting to the Kentucky 400. With more than 100,000 people filling practically every seat in the ultra-large Kentucky Speedway grandstands, Kyle Busch was

 the pole sitter and the inaugural Kentucky 400 race winner. 

The little matter of getting all those NASCAR Sprint Cup fans to the track for the Saturday nigh contest was another concern. The main highway to the Speedway is Interstate 71. The two-lane was as if all the traffic was in a morass of molasses or quicksand, so much so that driver Denny Hamlin was stuck in the crowd for several hours and was almost late to make the driver’s obligatory pre-race meeting.
Some of those avid NASCAR fans weren’t at the Speedway for the start of the race, which is a dad gum bogus deal. Not much can be done about getting 100,000 fans to the track in time, when the main thoroughfare is a two-lane highway. Should the Kentucky 400 be held on the 1.5-mile Speedway next year, NASCAR officials will have some time to work on the traffic logistics. Might some fans wish to parachute in? Not likely.

A contingent of 43 cars and drivers started the Kentucky 400. When the battle was three laps from the finish and the field was restarted, Busch drilled ahead of then leader Jimmie Johnson and zoomed across the finish line first. Kyle earned his third victory of the season and won first place in points for the race to the Championship some two months away.
Winning the Kentucky 400 denoted Kyle Busch’s 99th victory in the three combined NASCAR racing series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck races. Speaking of the NASCAR Truck Series, Busch won the Camping World Truck race on Thursday. Then, with much of the qualifying for the Kentucky 400 being rained out, Busch achieved the pole for the Saturday night race, with the fastest laps turned on the oval, before the deluge of rain wiped out the rest of the qualifying sessions.

Next week’s race will be in Loudon. Busch hopes his 100th NASCAR win will take place there. If his luck is as good as it was at Kentucky Speedway this just passed weekend, he’ll be hard to beat. We’ll all enjoy watching. That’s for sure.

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