Bristol NASCAR: Kyle Busch denies Erik Jones first win

Kyle Busch took his sixth NASCAR Cup victory at Bristol in a hard-fought race with rookie Erik Jones

Bristol NASCAR: Kyle Busch denies Erik Jones first win

Starting 18th on the grid, Busch picked his way up into the top 10 and took the lead for the first time just half-a-dozen laps before the end of the first stage.

From that point on, the race became a battle between Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and Jones's Furniture Row Toyota as the pair traded top spot throughout the 500-lap event.

Polesitter Jones looked like he was going to claim his maiden Cup Series victory but after the final caution period on lap 421 - to clear up debris from a crash for Landon Cassill - he didn't have the pace to match Busch.

Busch swept round the outside with 55 laps to go and held off a brief charge from Matt Kenseth, who took stage two victory, to claim a third victory of the weekend having already taken wins in the Trucks and the second-tier Xfinity Series.

Denny Hamlin claimed third place on lap 480 after running consistently in the top 10, making the most of Kenseth wearing out the front tyres on his Toyota and dropping back to fourth.

Behind Kenseth was Kurt Busch, the Stewart-Haas Ford driver surviving an early collision with the wall to recover to another top five finish.

Sixth place went to Ryan Newman in the highest finishing Chevrolet, a consistent race ending with him claiming the position from Trevor Bayne with less than a dozen laps remaining.

Jimmie Johnson, who won the rain-delayed April race at Bristol, could only finish 11th after struggling for pace following the final caution period.

It was also a poor race for points leader Martin Truex Jr, who was penalised for a pitstop infringement that relegated him down to 21st.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 2h46m37.s
2 Erik Jones Furniture Row Racing Toyota 500 1.422s
3 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 5.069s
4 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 7.391s
5 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500 7.843s
6 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 500 10.140s
7 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 500 10.519s
8 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 500 10.796s
9 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 500 11.109s
10 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 500 12.289s
11 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 500 12.515s
12 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 500 12.857s
13 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 500 12.909s
14 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 500 13.796s
15 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 500 14.461s
16 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 499 1 Lap
17 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 499 1 Lap
18 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 499 1 Lap
19 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 499 1 Lap
20 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 499 1 Lap
21 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 499 1 Lap
22 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 498 2 Laps
23 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 497 3 Laps
24 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 497 3 Laps
25 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 496 4 Laps
26 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 496 4 Laps
27 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 496 4 Laps
28 Corey LaJoie BK Racing Toyota 495 5 Laps
29 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 493 7 Laps
30 J.J. Yeley Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 493 7 Laps
31 Gray Gaulding Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 488 12 Laps
32 B.J. McLeod Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 482 18 Laps
33 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 480 20 Laps
34 Joey Gase BK Racing Toyota 476 24 Laps
35 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 412 Accident
36 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 394 Accident
37 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 390 Accident
38 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Toyota 352 Transmission
39 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 230 Accident
40 Jeffrey Earnhardt Circle Sport / TMG Chevrolet 225 Accident

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Martin Truex Jr. 951
2 Kyle Busch 850
3 Kyle Larson 845
4 Kevin Harvick 824
5 Denny Hamlin 753
6 Brad Keselowski 728
7 Chase Elliott 711
8 Matt Kenseth 703
9 Jamie McMurray 700
10 Clint Bowyer 642
11 Jimmie Johnson 628
12 Ryan Blaney 623
13 Kurt Busch 586
14 Joey Logano 583
15 Ryan Newman 574
16 Erik Jones 574
17 Daniel Suarez 537
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 528
19 Trevor Bayne 470
20 Kasey Kahne 451
21 Austin Dillon 437
22 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 416
23 Paul Menard 408
24 Ty Dillon 395
25 Chris Buescher 387
26 A.J. Allmendinger 381
27 Michael McDowell 378
28 Danica Patrick 352
29 David Ragan 303
30 Aric Almirola 268
31 Matt DiBenedetto 264
32 Cole Whitt 241
33 Landon Cassill 241
34 Gray Gaulding 111
35 Reed Sorenson 96
36 Jeffrey Earnhardt 93
37 Derrike Cope 30
38 Michael Waltrip 29
39 Boris Said 15
40 Billy Johnson 15
41 Gary Klutt 6
42 Alon Day 5
43 Cody Ware 4
44 Kevin O'Connell 4
45 Tommy Regan 3
46 D.J. Kennington 2


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Truex didn't consider giving Jones victory shot for NASCAR playoffs
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