Kurt Busch edges brother Kyle to win NASCAR race in Atlanta

Kurt Busch celebrates in Victory Lane with a selfie.
Kurt Busch celebrates in Victory Lane after winning a NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
(John Amis / Associated Press)

Kurt Busch asked for a final favor from Atlanta Motor Speedway’s old, battered track.

Busch’s wish came true on the track’s farewell race.

Busch passed brother Kyle with 24 laps left and won the NASCAR Cup Series race Sunday to complete a sibling weekend Atlanta sweep.

It was the final race for the current track surface. It was installed in 1997 and is the oldest on the NASCAR circuit. Construction on a repaving and reprofile project is expected to begin immediately.


“What a genuine, awesome, old-school race track,” Kurt Busch said. “I just asked the track today for the last time on your old asphalt can I have an old guy win, and she answered.”

Kurt Busch, 42, raced to his first victory of the season, 33rd overall and the fourth of his career at Atlanta. He locked up a spot in the playoffs and possibly improved his chances of securing a new ride next season.

Lucas Glover is a winner again after 10 long years, shooting a final-round 64 at the John Deere Classic on Sunday.

“Hell yeah, we beat Kyle!” he said.

Kyle Busch reclaimed the lead with 47 laps remaining, but couldn’t hold off his older brother on Lap 236. Kurt Busch took advantage of lapped traffic, especially teammate Ross Chastain, to pass his brother. Chastain helped Kurt Busch choose the lane needed to make the crucial pass.

“The 42 did his job as a teammate,” Kurt Busch said. “Ross is going to get a little flak for it, but that’s what it takes to be a good teammate at the right moment. I couldn’t be more proud of Ross Chastain.”

Said Chastain, who finished 21st: “Kurt asked for the lane and I gave it to him. One team, one goal and that’s to win.”

Kyle Busch pushed for the lead with eight laps remaining, but Kurt pulled away in the final laps to win by 1.237 seconds. Martin Truex Jr. finished third, rallying from a 37th-place starting position, while Alex Bowman was fourth and Ryan Blaney fifth.

Kyle Busch said his brother “was definitely better than us today. I thought I had him, and I did, but racing just didn’t play out for us today.”

Kyle Busch won the Xfinity Series race Saturday, giving him five wins in his maximum five races in the series this season. He said he doesn’t plan to return to the Xfinity Series next season.