Kyle Busch second again: "It's not good enough"

Kyle Busch was second again and it’s not surprising to learn he thinks it’s “very frustrating.”

Kyle Busch second again: "It's not good enough"
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Haas Automation Demo Day
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Caramel
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Caramel
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Caramel
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Caramel

Three times so far this season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Busch has finished as runner-up and each time it’s been to a Stewart-Haas Racing driver – Harvick at Las Vegas and Phoenix and Monday to Clint Bowyer at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

On the final pit stops of the race, Bowyer entered first and exited first with Busch close behind him but wasted little time moving out to a sizable advantage.

As the race drew to a close, Busch would occasionally draw closer – lapped traffic help him make up time the most – but simply could not mount a series challenge for the lead.

“They were good when it counted, obviously, and we were to keep it out front like that. I tried to make sure I saved enough stuff and tried to get him again when he got to lapped traffic but there was just nothing to go with,” Busch said on pit road after Monday’s snow-delayed STP 500.

“We’re close, we’re right there each and every week. We keep executing, we keep doing a good job, but it’s not good enough, you know. It’s very frustrating.

Here to win

We come here to win each and every week and we’ve been right there, we’ve been second-best a lot but we just haven’t been able to close the deal and get the job done. We’re trying to get there.”

Busch said he was surprised it was Bowyer who was able to hold onto the lead once he got out front while several others in the race – Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Busch himself – led laps but couldn’t stay out front for whatever reason.

Busch hoped the lapped traffic would work to his advantage.

“I thought once we got to heavier lapped traffic that’s when I would pour it on try to catch up,” he said. “I did that but once I got within a second probably that’s all she had. We didn’t have any more.”

Asked it’s better to get beat and be close or get beat badly with no chance, Busch said he preferred the latter.

“I think I would just want to get beat and go to the shop and try to figure out how we can close the gap. But, we’re there, you know. It’s just certain things. We keep getting beat by somebody who just hits on it.

“That’s a championship-caliber team and performance everything that we’re asking out of ourselves and getting ourselves but need that the last 10 weeks, not the first 10 weeks.”

Where's the edge?

Asked if he thought the difference was something SHR was doing or something Joe Gibbs Racing didn’t have, Busch said, “I don’t know. We’ve been beaten by different people each week.”

Busch remains the series points leader, holding an eight-point advantage over Martin Truex Jr. In a strange set of circumstances, of the top six drivers in points after six races, only one (Truex) has a race victory.

Kevin Harvick with three wins is seventh, Bowyer is now eighth and Austin Dillin is 13th.

“You’ll take championships over wins any day,” Busch said. “But certainly, wins would be nice.”

 

shares
comments
Clint Bowyer ends 190-race winless streak at Martinsville

Previous article

Clint Bowyer ends 190-race winless streak at Martinsville

Next article

Despite season-best result, Bowman still feeling frustrated

Despite season-best result, Bowman still feeling frustrated
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020