After pit road snafu, Kyle Busch fights his way to third at the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY - AUGUST 05: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Crunchy Mint Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GoBowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 5, 2018 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

If there were a “Driver of the Race” award in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, it would be difficult to give it to anyone other than Chase Elliott, who held off reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. over the final 32 laps to win Sunday’s Go Bowling at the Glen.

Kyle Busch, however, could lay his own claim, after fighting his way back to third place, overcoming a fueling snafu on pit road during his final stop under caution on Lap 56.

Busch left pit road with the lead after the stop, only to learn that his team had gotten only eight gallons of racing fuel into his tank. He returned to pit road a lap later to complete the fueling process and restarted 31st on Lap 59.

By Lap 66 Busch had cracked the top 10, and throughout the closing laps, he worked his way toward the front, ultimately passing Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez for third place.

“Sounds familiar,” Busch said of the glitch that perhaps cost him the race. “Every year we come here, we have a fast car and fail to execute, whether that’s just called bad luck or whatever.

“Last year we had a lug nut get stuck in the caliper. This year we had fueling problems. It never ceases to amaze me. Nothing surprises me anymore.”

Busch led 31 of the 90 laps, second only to Elliott’s 52. But after the blown pit stop, Busch had to work harder fighting his way through the field than Elliott did in keeping Truex behind him.

“It was a heck of a lot harder than it should have been,” Busch said. “But that was the predicament we were put in, and we had to go work. I certainly gave (team owner) Joe (Gibbs) his money’s worth today, maybe even a couple more races.

“We had a fast race car. I can’t say enough about our guys, our shop, everybody at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) engines, everything that gave us that opportunity. We just failed to capitalize, so it’s a disappointing day, no question.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.