Kyle Busch finally got over the proverbial hump last weekend in Richmond. He led over half of the Federated Auto Parts 400 and came home runner-up to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate of Martin Truex Jr. Now, can Busch keep it going in the final race of the opening round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs?
Busch, does have four top six finishes in his No. 18 Toyota in the last five races of the season. The problem is, he’s scored only three top five finishes over the last nine races overall and hasn’t won since June 2 at Pocono (14 races).
You can sense the frustration levels rising on the talented driver. Yes, he was smiling after his top five finish last Saturday night at the Richmond (VA) Raceway, but if he doesn’t finish well in Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 (2:30 p.m. ET/NBC/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) then you very well could see Busch blow a gasket.
Right now, he’s clinched his way into the second round, so he’s not too worried with how Sunday’s race around the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will play out. He just wants to build more and more momentum going further into the playoffs. He’s +66 right now on the cutoff spot. He wants more playoff points to add more insurance just in case he needs it in the second round.
Busch, has been pretty strong at the second round tracks but recent stats though could have him worried. In the last four fall races at Dover, Busch has three top two finishes. The problem there is, out of his last six spring race starts on the Monster Mile, his best finish is 10th too. Next is Talladega, which is a crapshoot. Then, it’s to Kansas where Busch has eight top 10 finishes in his last nine tries but he was only 30th this past May. Kansas is a lot like Vegas, a place where JGR struggled as a whole and Busch finished 19th two weeks ago there.
He needs as much insurance as he can get and the only way to do that is to go out and win Sunday on the ROVAL and pick up five more playoff points by virtue of that.