CONCORD, N.C.— Step by step, Kyle Busch says, Joe Gibbs Racing is making progress.
He just hopes the organization, and his No. 18 Toyota team specifically, has come far enough to go the distance when the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup arrives at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
With a third-place finish in the first race in the Chase’s Contender Round last Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Busch took over second place in the Sprint Cup standings and enters Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway with some breathing room.
Busch took full advantage in Thursday night’s qualifying session, winning the pole for the fifth Chase race.
The effort in qualifying was another indication of the progress JGR is making as a team as the Chase unfolds.
“With the way the eliminations are, yes I would believe we’re edging our way towards the top,” Busch said of the organization’s prospects for a championship. “Anything can happen in this game. I believe it’s a fickle business, so you just have to pick through it all. And 500 miles here at Charlotte–we hope to have a good race here.
“We have had good races here in the past and, first things first, you shoot for top-10 and then you shoot for top-five, and if you’re in position you try to go after that victory and punch your ticket right on through and get yourself automatically into the Eliminator Round… You have to take things one step at a time.”
With the Chase approaching its midpoint, Busch seems more confident than ever in his footing, though he had difficulty dialing in the No. 18 Camry in Friday’s final practice, recording the 15th fastest speed in the session.