NASCAR Xfinity Series at Atlanta 2016 Results: Winner, Standings and Reaction

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NASCAR Xfinity Series at Atlanta 2016 Results: Winner, Standings and Reaction
John Amis/Associated Press

Kyle Busch took the checkered flag at the Heads Up 250 in NASCAR's Xfinity Series on Saturday from Atlanta. 

It was his first career win at the track after five second-place finishes over his career. He spoke after the race, via PRN:

Here are the full race results:

Heads Up 250 Race Results
Place Driver
1 Kyle Busch
2 Kyle Larson
3 Erik Jones
4 Paul Menard
5 Ty Dillon
6 Brad Keselowski
7 Daniel Suarez
8 Justin Allgaier
9 Elliott Sadler
10 Jeb Burton
11 Brandon Jones
12 Kevin Harvick
13 Brendan Gaughan
14 Brennan Poole
15 Ryan Reed
16 Ryan Sieg
17 Jeremy Clements
18 Darrell Wallace Jr.
19 J.J. Yeley
20 Blake Koch
21 Dakoda Armstrong
22 Ryan Preece
23 Corey Lajoie
24 Garrett Smithley
25 Mario Gosselin
26 B.J. McLeod
27 Derrike Cope
28 Ross Chastain
29 Chris Cockrum
30 Mike Harmon
31 Cody Ware
32 Joey Gase
33 Ray Black Jr.
34 Josh Reaume
35 Harrison Rhodes
36 Carl Long
37 Morgan Shepherd
38 Todd Peck
39 David Starr
40 Jeff Green

This is what the standings look like after Saturday's race:

 

2016 Xfinity Series Standings
Place Driver Points
1 Elliott Sadler 70
2 Daniel Suarez 67
3 Ty Dillon 65
4 Brandon Jones 64
5 Justin Allgaier 63
6 Brendan Gaughan 62
7 Darrell Wallace Jr. 58
8 Blake Koch 53
9 Ryan Reed 51
10 Jeremy Clements 50

Busch led 119 of the 163 laps after beginning the race as the pole-sitter. It was a dominant performance by Busch as only Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier and Jeb Burton led laps. 

It was no easy feat to do what Busch did, either.

Drivers had to contend with one of the older surfaces in NASCAR's circuit. The last time the asphalt track at Atlanta was re-done was in 1997. The surface slows down cars due to the rocks that become exposed on the track, which wears down the tires. 

Atlanta is also a track that has big, drawn-out curves and short straightaways that don't allow drivers to stay on the throttle like other venues. It created some cautions that included blown tires and plenty of debris on the track, via NASCAR Xfinity:

The trouble, though, didn't end on the track, as NASCAR Xfinity showed:

With 20 laps to go, it became a two-car race between Busch and Kyle Larson. Busch opened up a lead as large as 1.7 seconds in the process, while Larson had more than three seconds on the third-place driver.

As the race dwindled, that separation continued to grow. With seven laps to go, the top two had more than a six-second edge, but Larson was bearing down on Busch. Larson found a solid groove on the top part of the track and was putting up some fast laps. 

His deficit shrank from 1.7 seconds, to less than one with five laps to go, but Busch managed to hold on for the win. Third-place Erik Jones, who started the race in the front row but was forced to the back of the pack after a bad start, finished over nine seconds behind Larson. 

But because Busch is not a full-time Xfinity driver, an early-season win does not thrust him to the top of the series standings. 

After a ninth-place finish, Elliott Sadler remains the series leader by three points over Daniel Suarez, who finished in seventh.

 

Stats courtesy of NASCAR.com.

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