Busch Scores Solid Third-Place Finish at Texas Interstate Batteries Team Gains Two Spots in Championship Point Standings Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), started and finished third in ...
Busch Scores Solid Third-Place Finish at Texas
Interstate Batteries Team Gains Two Spots in Championship Point Standings
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), started and finished third in Sunday's Samsung 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
The third-place result was Busch's fourth top-five finish in 2008, and the strong run helped Busch and the Interstate Batteries team move from fifth to third in the championship point standings.
"The Interstate Batteries guys gave me an awesome car," said Busch, who led twice for 50 laps. "We had a car that we could run up front with and contend. We weren't the car to beat, but at least we were contenders today, and that's all that matters. If we can go to every race and run up front with these guys, I'm happy. If you can finish third each week, you'll probably win the championship, but we sure like those wins."
Green flag pit stop cycles aside, Busch never dropped lower than fourth throughout the 339-lap event, which was extended five laps beyond its scheduled distance and finished under a green/white/checkered condition.
The 22-year old Las Vegas native battled with eventual winner Carl Edwards and second-place Jimmie Johnson throughout the race, but in the end, neither Busch nor Johnson could mount a challenge that would rival Edwards' dominant run, as he wound up leading three times for 123 laps.
"I knew the No. 99 (Edwards) was not showing everything he had," Busch said. "He probably could've led however many laps there were today. We knew he was pretty good. The No. 48 (Johnson) was pretty good too, but I figured that most of the race the No. 99 was holding back and hanging out."
A late caution on lap 331 due to an engine failure within the car of Martin Truex Jr., gave Busch brief hope that he might have a shot at the win, but Edwards quickly closed the door when the race restarted for the green/white/checkered finish. Resigned to the fact that he couldn't catch Edwards or Johnson, Busch smartly refrained from pushing his car beyond what it was capable of during the final two-lap dash.
"If there's a shot to go for second, then we would've taken it," said Busch of the last two laps. "There at the end, it was just survival. It was about holding off those guys behind us. It wasn't going to be to move forward at all because we were so tight. If we had a different race car, probably I would've tried a little bit harder, but it wasn't worth it today."
What it was worth was two positions, as Busch's rise to third in points put him 64 markers arrears series leader Jeff Burton.