Busch looks to rebound
RICHMOND, Va. — The NASCAR playoffs didn’t start the way Kyle Busch wanted. An early swipe of the wall at Las Vegas and slow lapped traffic relegated him to a middle-of-the-pack finish that dropped him from first to fourth in the championship race.
Now, the series has moved to Richmond Raceway, where no one else in the field can touch Busch’s six career victories, but also where Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. won in the spring and teammate Denny Hamlin has won three times.
Busch ran into the back of Garrett Smithley after working his way back up to fourth place, then faded to a 19th-place finish at Las Vegas. He lashed out at Smithley afterward, but said he was over it within about 12 hours.
“Richmond’s Richmond. Vegas is Vegas. It’s done and over with,” he said Friday. “That’s past. We’re moving on.”
Busch and the Gibbs organization have dominated NASCAR’s top series all season, winning 14 of 27 races, and work well together. Truex has won five times, Busch and Hamlin have won four each and Erik Jones has won once.
“We share everything, the teams, the crew chiefs, the drivers,” Truex said Friday. “We share everything so basically we’re teammates as good as we can be, then once the race starts on Saturday night, that’s when it’s every team for themselves. You race as hard against your teammates, almost, I guess, as hard as you race everybody else.”
Brad Keselowski won the pole for tonight’s race.
Keselowski earned his second career pole at Richmond and the 17th of his career with a lap at 127.185 miles per hour. It will be his 16th top-10 start in 28 races this year.
Keselowski said he never attempted a qualifying run earlier in the day because the conditions were so different than they would have been later.