DARLINGTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 01: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, speaks with Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 BassProShops/TrackerBoats40thAnv Toyota, in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 1, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Championship contender dominated the first stage of the playoffs

Kyle Busch had the second most stage wins of any driver in the regular season behind Martin Truex Jr., and Busch won the first stage of the playoffs in dominating fashion.

Busch led for 78 of 80 laps en route to the Stage 1 victory.

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Truex was one of three drivers penalized for driving too fast on pit road, as well as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon.

Busch's early dominance might not lead to a victory at Chicagoland, but he certainly has one of the fastest cars of any driver in the field.

(h/t NBC Sports)