Speeding penalties ruin Kyle Busch’s winning chances

LOUDON, NH - JULY 16: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Overton's 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2017 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

LOUDON, N.H. – Kyle Busch can take a lot of positives from the Overton’s 301 at New Hampshire.

He led 95 laps, second only to Martin Truex Jr.’s 137. He won the second stage, earning his fifth playoff point of the season. And he did nothing to hurt his third-place position in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings—good news for a driver who may have to qualify for the playoff on points.

But Busch didn’t get the one major positive he really wanted—a victory.

A pair of pit road speeding penalties, both in Segment 5 on the way to his pit box, cost him dearly in track position and dropped him to 12th at the finish.

“I messed up a couple of times with getting the speeding penalties, and it pretty much cost us a chance for the win today,” Busch said. “It’s disappointing, but we’ll look forward to getting to Indianapolis next week.”

Next Sunday’s race at the Brickyard may be just the remedy Busch needs. He’s the two-time defending winner at the vaunted 2.5-mile track.