Kyle Busch says Toyotas still have some catching up to do

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Twelve races into the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule, and Kyle Busch has already won 25 percent of the points events in NASCAR’s premier series.

Compared with the success Kevin Harvick has enjoyed, however, three victories aren’t quite good enough. Harvick claimed trophies in five of the first dozen races, including the last two, and the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford shows no signs of slacking off.

As a consequence, Busch is looking for still more speed in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

“We’ve got to catch up a little bit on speed overall, I’d say,” Busch acknowledged on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, after running the better part of one lap in opening All-Star Race practice. “I think our Toyotas are close, but it seems the Blue Ovals (Fords) have got a little bit of an advantage this year. You kind of see it weekly. You look at the rundown on the pylon, and it’s lots of Fords lined up in the top-12 spots.

“So it’s pretty obvious based just off of last year and looking at the pylon and kind of seeing a little bit more spread there between Chevys, Fords and Toyotas. All in all, we’ve just got to go to work and figure out what we got to do in order to get better. I think some of the aero changes that have kind of come down this year have benefited them a little bit more so than us, and we’re trying to work through some of those things as we go right here throughout the season.”