NASCAR: Kurt Busch Takes Checkered Flag at Quaker State 400 in Atlanta

by Evan Reier

A brotherly NASCAR battle took place in Atlanta as Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch each took a stage entering the final 100 laps.

It’s nothing new for the two, who have spent the better part of two decades competing against each other in the NASCAR Cup Series. But on this occasion, Kurt Busch got the upper hand on his younger brother with a tight win.

The race began with a 37-racer field, and at the end of Stage 1, Kyle Busch was sitting at the front of it. The two-time Cup Series winner earned his 10 stage points, with Kurt coming right behind him for second. Denny Hamlin followed behind for a third-place stage finish.

The roles were switched in Stage 2, though. Kurt turned the tables on Kyle by taking his chance to pass him and ended up crossing the line first at the end of the stage. And, to keep the parity going further, Kyle Busch finished second in Stage 2, completing the flip. Hamlin again finished in third place.

However, neither of the brothers fell away as Stage 3 got going in earnest. Hamlin on the other hand found some issues maintaining his spot, falling back to the 10-15 range fairly soon into the stage.

Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jr. took his place, tailing the Busch brothers for the majority of Stage 3.

Speaking of which, the two traded leads a few times down the stretch. But Kurt made the last move, and held out in the final laps for the victory.

Other Notable Finishes from NASCAR in the ATL

While the battle at the top is always the most notable, there were some other clear storylines from the race.

Many NASCAR fans have been captivated by Kyle Larson’s recent run, which has featured a flurry of wins. However, Sunday wasn’t his day as he finished at the 18th spot.

Bubba Wallace finished about where fans have seen him finish all year, the 10-20 range. In Atlanta, the young driver crossed the line in 14th.

Wallace’s team owner and his general competitor, Denny Hamlin, didn’t fare too much better. The NASCAR star took 13th on Sunday. Joey Logano finished in the 19th spot.

Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott all stayed in the mix as well, but never really cracked into first-place contention. Blaney clocked in at No. 5, Reddick followed behind in 6th, and Elliott took seventh.

Truex Jr. was able to lock up 3rd, while Bowman had a respectable day in 4th.