Kyle Busch benefited from Ben Rhodes blowing an engine with eight laps to go to win the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway.
After the two battled back and forth in the final 30 laps, Rhodes cleared the Cup Series veteran and held him off, opening up a comfortable lead with 26 laps remaining.
After opening up a one-second lead, the unfortunate happened for Rhodes. His No. 27 ThorSport Racing Toyota blew an engine and relinquished the lead back to Busch.
“We did everything right all night long,” Rhodes told FOX Sports after the race. “Ben Rhodes has a curse on his back or something. Becuase something always goes wrong. A piece of debris went through the grill and into the radiator and blew up the motor. It’s just tough.
“It’s crazy because something always goes wrong with our team. We do everything right and can never pull one off. We’ve been trying for years and years. If I don’t make it in this game, it won’t be for lack of effort, it’ll be from bad luck. Let that be known.”
While it was a heartbreaking defeat for Rhodes, he took away some positives from running from the best but hopes his luck eventually changes.
“You know, (Kyle Busch) has more wins than I have in total stock car starts,” Rhodes said. “It was actually a dream come true. Last year we struggled so much with the fire and finally getting good equipment and this year we’re finally rebuilt and have the consistent equipment. We know what we’ve got. We went to a test last week and we got better than everyone else because we’ve worked so hard. It’s really cool to run with him (Busch) because I’ve looked up to him my whole life. It’s neat that I was able to learn from him.”
Before losing the lead to Rhodes late, Busch dominated, leading a race-high 91 laps, winning both stages after taking the lead from his Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Christopher Bell early in Stage 1. Bell, who started on the pole, had to use pit strategy to rebound for a fourth-place finish after an untimely yellow flag put him at the tail-end of the lead lap in the final stage.
Johnny Sauter finished second with John Hunter Nemechek third and Chase Briscoe rounded out the top five.
Busch showed humility by skipping an extravagant burnout and instead simply got the checkered flag in celebration, knowing that Rhodes had the race-winning truck.
“That’s one of the worst ones to swallow right there,” Busch told FOX Sports in Victory Lane. “I didn’t do a burnout or anything like that. I just got the checkered flag for our group of guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Ben Rhodes had that race won. I was trying everything I could to chase him back down but I didn’t have enough speed in our Tundra tonight. His was faster than ours.”
The opening stage was filled with cautions as nearly half of the first 40 laps were under the yellow flag.
Wendell Chavous brought out two cautions in the first stage, along with Stewart Friesen and Jordan Anderson who made contact on Lap 16, and Grant Enfinger who spun on Lap 12.
Overall, the race saw 11 cautions for 46 laps.
Check out the full race results from the Toyota Tundra 250 below.