RICHMOND, Va. — Kyle Busch is turning Denny Hamlin’s Short Track Showdown into his own personal showcase.
Busch, a teammate of Hamlin’s with Joe Gibbs Racing, grabbed the lead before the 5-minute pit stops that came after 46 laps Thursday night, then pulled away when the race went back to green, easily holding off David Ragan for the victory.
It was his third win in the six years of the event. The race benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which helps children with cystic fibrosis.
“Late models (are) what I grew up in and it’s fun to sit in that seat,” Busch said in Victory Lane.
With Hamlin sidelined by a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back and forced to watch the event at his home track, Busch once again made the 75-lap race his to lose.
Ragan was second, followed by Ben Rhodes, Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Garrett Campbell.
Matt Kenseth, a late fill-in for Hamlin, slammed into CE Falk III before the 5-minute pit stops and spun himself out. He finished 22nd. Tony Stewart also had a short night, getting spun out and then T-boned before the break.
He climbed from the car during the break and did not return, finishing 28th.