Kyle Busch’s makes flashy debut with RCR

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 05: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, (C) winner, Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Get Bioethanol Chevrolet, (L) second place and Kyle Busch, driver of the #8 BetMGM Chevrolet, third place pose for photos on the podium after the NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch proved to his new boss and teammates that he will be competitive in 2023. In his first race with Richard Childress Racing, Busch overcame a late race contact with Joey Logano in the 150 lap NASCAR Clash at the L.A. Coliseum Sunday night that sent him to the back of the field.

The contact happened on lap 86 when Logano got into Busch entering Turn 3. Busch reset, and fought his way forward ending his first race with the team third. The finish came after he was second in this race last year after starting from the pole.

“Yeah, I mean, I don’t necessarily know what it is, but sometimes drivers will take to places,” Busch said. “But this place here being a short track, me growing up short track racing with some of the late models and stuff that I have done, I’ve been to a lot of places like this. Been Legends cars as well too over the years.

But I’m sure many of those guys out there have, as well, whether it’s been dirt, whether it’s been pavement. I don’t know, yeah. Having good stuff obviously helps. Last year being in the JGR stuff we were really fast. Our teammates were terrible this year; now our teammates are good, or the JGR cars were good and we got beat by one of them, but Austin and I worked hard together today on, A, working together, but, B, all the information to put ourselves in the best possible spot.

“Good collaboration between the RCR bunch.”

Busch’s new teammate Austin Dillon finished second after he made contact with Bubba Wallace during a race that had 16 cautions.

“Yeah, I’ll just echo what Kyle said,” Dillon said. “It was really fun. Our car was really good. It really kind of turned on that last practice. We figured out that our car was pretty good on the long run. We were able to qualify decent, which is good for us. Not a great qualifier usually at the short tracks.

“Felt like if we could just maintain we could have a shot. Kyle helped me there at the end. He knew we had a fast car, so let me try and got a shot at Martin. That was nice, so hopefully I can pay back the favor we go to Daytona and work together well. It’s a great start for all of us.”

Busch also had a message for Logano.

“Yeah, Logano didn’t get hit by nobody,” he said. “He just flat-out drove through me, so he’s got another one coming. I owe him a few.”

Greg Engle