Kyle Busch started on the pole, pulled away after the first few laps and left the field in the dust. All in all, Busch led 377 of 400 laps in the grueling 600 mile race, and other than cycling through pit stops, Busch didn’t lose the lead after assuming in on lap 5 from Joey Logano.
Kevin Harvick started from the rear after failing to make it through inspection in qualifying and worked his way all the way up to 4th before losing a tire, slamming the wall and abruptly ending his day. The No. 4 looked like the only guy that could’ve topped the No. 18, but it was not to be. Those two have combined to win 9 of the first 13 points-paying races this season. Staggering.
Despite the domination from the 18, there was a ton of great racing through the rest of the top 10. Martin Truex Jr. had a great run and overcame a couple errors to come away with a runner-up finish in a race he dominated like Busch two years ago, and a track he won at last fall.
The Toyotas were back on top at Charlotte as they rounded out the top 3 with JGR teammate of Busch, Denny Hamlin finishing 3rd and running up towards the front all evening.
Jimmie Johnson, a four-time winner of the crown jewel race, fought stability issues all night, but had a real good car and was immersed in several three-wide battles all night and came out with a 5th place finish. A credit to his workout regiment as half the battle in the 600 mile race is staying sharp both physically and mentally. Brad Keselowski had a nice night and run in the red, white and blue Miller Lite pacing the Fords with a 4th-place finish.
Back to Kyle “Rowdy” Busch, it was a historic night indeed as with the points win at Charlotte finally checked off, he became the first driver in NASCAR history to record a victory on every Cup Series track he has ever started in. A true credit to just how skilled and talented of a driver he is.
Busch picked up win number four of the 2018 season and extended his lead in the points race to 67 over Joey Logano. He also scored his 47th career win at the cup series level putting him in 15th place all-time. “This ones very special. The Coke 600, I’ve dreamt of this race since I was a kid. To be able to come out and win the Coca Cola 600, it’s a little boys dream come true,” Busch said.
Busch thanked his crew and chief Adam Stevens for the incredible car, kissed his wife Samantha in victory lane and celebrated by tossing up his young son Brexton in the air and catching him several times. A special Memorial Day Weekend indeed for the driver of the M&M’s Toyota Camry that he won’t soon forget.
The greatest racing day of the year ended with a fireworks show and the 18 burning it down on the front-stretch. Can’t beat the Coke 600.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank