Kyle Busch eager to get to "a real race track" after Talladega loss

Kyle Busch led the most laps at Talladega Superspeedway, but he had no help when it counted the most on Sunday.

Kyle Busch eager to get to "a real race track" after Talladega loss
Three-wide race action
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Despite leading 47 laps when the Geico 500 went into overtime, Jimmie Johnson’s assist to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was all the No. 17 Ford needed to get a nose ahead of Busch. As the cars came to the start finish line, Stenhouse’s advantage was a mere .099-seconds over Busch who finished third behind Jamie McMurray.

“When they have too big of a run and you can’t do anything about it,” Busch said. “Stenhouse got a really good run and a good push and got by us there and then it was just about retaliation to get back on him and I just never had enough help from behind and just never got together.

“I just can’t say enough about this Skittles Camry – it was really fast. The guys at Joe Gibbs Racing did a great job and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) with everyone on this motor, it was awesome. We did all we could here today and it’s all circumstantial on how you win these things. Unfortunately our circumstances didn’t quite go our way, but we go to a real race track next week and we’ll try to win there.”

Busch took the lead for the first time on Lap 26 from Clint Bowyer. He finished third following the first stage and returned to the point again for three laps on lap 80. Busch finished 23rd after the second segment and restarted 17th for the final stage.

Holding onto the lead through carnage and chaos

By Lap 152, Busch returned to the lead. He held the point through Ryan Blaney’s wreck — and again when the “Big One” occurred on Lap 169 that collected 18 of the 40-car field. He counted himself lucky to be out front.

“Certainly are, we were leading at that time and the wreck came from second so it was pretty much everybody was going to be in it and hope everyone was okay in it,” Busch said.

Busch held the point through the final two cautions — but with his teammates Matt Kenseth, and fellow Toyota drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones being collected in the wreck — the No. 18 Camry had no dancing partners for the end game.

He was the only Toyota to finish in the top 10 in the Geico 508.

“Everybody was all kind of mixed up – there was a Ford, there was a Chevy – so it was just all over the place,” Busch said. “Certainly myself and the 78 (Truex Jr.) and the 11 (Denny Hamlin), we all worked really well together today and it was fun to have camaraderie today with teammates, but they weren’t there for us at the end.”

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Earnhardt avoids carnage, but leaves Talladega disappointed

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Talladega
Location Talladega Superspeedway
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Lee Spencer
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