For the Brothers Busch, Fontana was the best of times, the worst of times

FONTANA, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 01: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, leads a pack of cars in the NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 01, 2020 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

For the Busch brothers, Kyle and Kurt, Sunday’s Cup race at Auto Club Speedway was either a frustrating exercise or a pretty good day.

Younger brother Kyle finished second not a bad day when you consider that he’s finished outside the top 10 in the first two races of the season. Still…

“We have a lot of work to do,” Kyle said. “Guys did a great job here though just trying to work on it and trying to make everything we could out of it all day long, all weekend long.”

So what happened Sunday?

“Slow, we were slow,” Kyle said. “Just didn’t have the speed overall today for some reason. Then, there at the end felt like the tires were worn out at the last bit of the race.  Just frustrating day for us with our Interstate Batteries Camry.

“Give it up to my guys and everybody at the shop, they’re certainly working hard. I just feel like we’re kind of missing it a little bit – here, here, here and here and those things kind of add up and drag you down a little bit. Overall, great day I guess coming home with second and getting good points out of here.”

Older brother Kurt was smiling after his third-place finish. And he had good reason to considering his rebound.

He overshot his pits during stops at the end of Stage 1 and had to come back in. He re-started 21st and fought his way back.

“We did really good to balance our Monster Energy Chevy on short run speed, and long run speed,” Kurt said. “Being able to maneuver on re-starts is something that I’ve been harping on. Making sure we get better when we’re in dirty air.

And to come away with a third-place finish, that gains a lot of points back for us and I feel really good about the way the car handled this weekend. So, whatever we can do to baseline this, is what we’ve got to do moving forward.”

As for driving past his pit box.

“I just drove right by it,” Kurt admitted. “I was trying to get my lights matched up and I had my car bucking back and forth. By the time I got my lights settled, I drove right by the box. It was just a flat-out mistake on the driver part.”

At the end of the day however, he could smile with his podium finish.

“Yes, this is an awesome podium finish,” Kurt said. “It’s a good vibe, a good feel, and yes, we needed a nice solid finish here for Monster Energy, and everybody here in SoCal.”