Don’t expect Kyle Busch to move to Michigan when he retires, at least not to be close to Michigan International Speedway. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver had another disastrous outing in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400.
Busch started 16th and was holding his own when just after a restart on lap 26. Kevin Harvick took the lead up front but entering turn 3 behind them Busch got loose entering the turn. By the time he was exiting turn 4, Busch’s No. 18 Toyota was sliding sideways towards pit road and the infield grass.
The car made no contact and ended up sliding across the infield grass before coming to rest. Busch was able to finally get the car going and got back on track as the second caution of the day flew.
“Have I ever mentioned I absolutely just adore this place,” Busch told his crew on the radio sarcastically.
Busch has a reason to have a dislike for the 2-mile oval. In five of the last six races prior to Sunday, Busch had finished outside the top 30 for various reasons. In the June race he lost an engine and finished 40th, and in last year’s June race he finished 43rd after crashing out. Last August Busch spun during final practice in almost the same spot as he did Sunday.
“I’m thinking all these race tracks need more grass,” Busch said after that incident last August. “I think more grass would be beneficial,” Busch said sarcastically. “I think we should have more grass and it should be tall.”
Busch would go on to finish 11th in that race last August. Sunday, Busch finished 19th, one lap down. The 2015 NASCAR Cup champion had nothing to say post race, but his crew chief Adam Stevens tried to find the positives in Sunday’s performance.
“We actually had a pretty fast car,” Stevens said.”We ran some really fast laps, but we just got in a bad spot there on the restart and got sucked around and wore off part of our splitter, but even after that we were one of the probably five or six quickest cars on the race track and just whenever we got in the lucky dog spot we ran there for I can’t tell you how many laps and just didn’t get a caution. The leaders started lapping cars again and we just couldn’t catch that caution to get back on the lead lap and really show what we had.”
Kyle Larson won the Pure Michigan 400. Busch will be looking for redemption as the series heads to Darlington. Busch won there in 2008 and has finished in the top ten in his last 4 races there.
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