The wait is finally over, after 20 years of trying, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch in the No.1 Monster Energy Chevrolet took his first victory at home at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday in the South Point 400.
Busch took the lead of the race following an overtime caution from Matt DiBenedetto who came home second for Wood Brothers Racing while Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in the No.11 FedEx Toyota Camry completed the top three.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr was fourth just ahead of Hendrick Motorsports Alex Bowman while defending series champion Kyle Busch in the No.18 M&Mrs Toyota Camry recovered from an earlier accident to finish the race in sixth place ahead of Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones was eighth just ahead of Chris Buescher while championship leader Kevin Harvick in the No.4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang for Stewart Haas Racing rounded out the top ten just ahead of Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson.
Reflecting on his first win if the season, Kurt Busch said:
This is 20 years of agony and defeat and now today with triumph, I don’t know if I have any more gas left or if I just filled my tank up to go win every race that I’m going to go race next. This feeling of growing up here and watching the track get built from the desert gravel pit that it was by Richie Clyne and his group and then when Speedway Motorsports came in and bought it, I’m like, man, there’s going to be a Cup race there, I hope I can make my way up through Legend cars. And just all the memories, all the memories of everybody, my mom and dad, every Saturday night, all the commitment they gave me and my little brother to make it in racing.
For me it was a hobby. I never knew I’d get this far. A guy named Craig Keough here locally here in Las Vegas, the owner of the Star Nurseries here in Las Vegas took a chance on me and let me run his late model a few times and we won a couple races and started working our way up.
It takes a village to make somebody cut through and make it, and this is my hometown and I have so many people to thank, and I couldn’t be more proud and I know that they’re very proud right now watching on TV, watching on NBC Sports Network and seeing their hometown boy win at the hometown track.