Records are hard to beat for a reason. Kyle Busch learned that painful lesson Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.
Busch came into Kansas having scored top 10 finishes in all 11 races in the season to that point. The previous week at Dover, Busch had rallied from a brush with the wall to come home 10th and tied a record for top-10s set by Morgan Shepherd in 1990.
After the Dover race, Busch was none too happy with NASCAR’s new
Running outside the top 10 most of the afternoon and smacking the wall on lap 251 and reporting to his crew that his No. 18 Toyota was “fucking killed”, he did manage to make a late race charge to finish 10th. He has now finished in the top-10 in all 11 races so far this season, tying a record set by Morgan Shepherd in 1990.
Despite that valiant effort, Busch was disappointed after the race, with most of the blame directed towards NASCAR’s new higher-downforce, lower-horsepower competition package raced for the first time at Dover.
“The package sucks,” he said right after getting out of the car. “No fucking question about it. It’s terrible. All I can do is bitch about it and fall on deaf ears and we’ll come back with the same thing it in the fall.”
Many thought NASCAR would penalize Busch for those comments, but in the end they didn’t.
Saturday Busch started eighth and was in contention for the win or at least a chance at breaking the top-10 record with Morgan Shepherd.
But Busch was penalized for going through too many pit boxes during a caution for a rogue tire that had rolled across pit lane on lap 217. He voiced his displeasure on the team radio.
“Sure takes the win away, doesn’t it?” Busch said adding. “I swear, any time you say anything, you get your ass handed to you. You see others doing it and nothing.”
His crew chief Adam Stevens corrected his driver.
“I counted the boxes, bud,” Stevens replied. “We damn sure drove through 4 of them”
Busch was able to recover and was battling inside the top 10 with less than 15 laps to go but he tried to squeeze in-between the cars of Clint Bowyer and Erik Jones, making contact with Bowyer that led to a tire rub on Busch’s Toyota. He was forced to pit, twice, and finished 30th, three laps down. And ending his record-tying streak of top-10 finishes to start the season at 11.