The specially branded NASCAR Xfinity Series car driven by Kyle Busch produced a familiar finishing position for App State: first place.
The Black and Gold No. 54 car featuring App State logos as well as a congratulatory message for App State’s graduating seniors in the Class of 2020 made a dramatic last-lap pass and crossed the finish line first Monday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, giving Busch a win in the Alsco 300.
Holding the checkered flag during his on-track interview with FS1, Busch delivered another message to App State’s recent graduates and even referenced the historic upset of Michigan from 2007.
“I want to wish the 2020 class from App State congratulations on getting their diplomas this year,” Busch said. “Obviously, it’s a little different, I know, but hopefully this lifts your spirits a little bit anyways. We won for you. We took all the rest of the Big Houses down tonight, so it was pretty cool to score a win here in Charlotte.”
Busch led 94 of 203 laps during a dominant performance in which he won each of the race’s first two stages. A pit road penalty briefly put him a lap down in the second half of a Memorial Day event scheduled for 300 miles, but a caution flag helped him get back on the lead lap, and he regained the lead with 10 laps remaining.
A late wreck forced an overtime-causing caution to set up a green-white-checkered finish with Busch in front and only two laps remaining. Choosing the outside row for a two-wide restart, he fell behind Austin Cindric, who possessed the lead with one lap remaining. Busch ducked underneath Cindric exiting the second turn, pulled alongside him on the backstretch and moved ahead entering the third turn.
A two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Busch is also the all-time Xfinity Series wins leader with 97 career victories, nearly twice the second-place total.