Monday, February 26, 2024
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First round of NASCAR playoffs may end in 'ugly' way for Kyle Busch

After the start of the playoffs last week in Darlington, S.C., and an early exit due to engine problems, Busch entered Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway hoping for a big improvement.

Instead, he got more of the same.

His No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota struggled all weekend, first in qualifying (he qualified 20th) and then the race itself.

He suffered a penalty for equipment disturbance during his pitstop on lap 112 when one of his tires rolled into a competitor’s pit. That put Busch at the back of the field in the restart.

Then, while trying to make up for lost ground, Busch came off Turn 4 on lap 138 of 267 and plowed through the front grass. He ended up 26th in the race, two laps behind race winner Bubba Wallace.

“I was really loose and it just popped around me,” said Busch, who will announce his plans for the 2023 Cup on Tuesday. “Then I got hurt by going across the grass. .. kinda ruined the rest of our time, but it was what happened at that pit stop that set us back and got us back to the traffic there.

” Tried to tweak the car to make it Faster, it does make it faster, but definitely makes it looser. “

Escape the Elimination

After two disappointing weekends, Busch is now one of the first-round playoffs below the cutoff of four drivers (joining Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick).

However, he is only two points below the cutoff and the playoff field is still relatively close – The difference between 10th and 15th in the standings is just 13 points.

Though Busch still has a decent chance of making it to Round 2 with a good record — or better yet Automatic win in Bristol, Tennessee next weekend (he has eight victories on the concrete oval) – he’s still not sure what’s going to happen.

“We’ll go for it Try, if Bristol has always been like this for me, we’ll be fine,” he said. “The way this year is, it would be ugly if that happened. ”


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