Busch celebrates birthday with win at Kansas Speedway

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Kyle Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, May 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kyle Busch thought he had a third-place car Sunday. His crew chief, Ben Beshore, though it was good enough for second.

Both of them turned out to be wrong.

Instead, Busch was perfect on a pair of late restarts and won a two-lap sprint to the finish at Kansas Speedway, becoming the 10th different winner through the first 11 races of a topsy-turvy NASCAR Cup Series season.

On his 36th birthday, no less.

“We ran up front all day," Busch said. “Just trying to make adjustments all day long to get it where we wanted. The final adjustments were a positive for us. Didn't necessarily take us from a third-place car to a winning car but the restarts did.”

Busch had stalked Kyle Larson all afternoon before beating him on a late restart to take the lead. Then, after another caution in the closing laps, Busch followed up his Truck Series win Saturday night by earning another trip to victory lane.

“That's a Kyle Busch win right there,” he said with a smile.

It's his 17th straight season with a win, tying David Pearson for second on the all-time list and moving him within one of Richard Petty's record streak. It also was his first with Beshore calling the shots from the pit box, and it gives Joe Gibbs Racing three drivers qualified for the playoffs along with Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell.