NASCAR Cup
NASCAR Cup
R
Daytona Clash
08 Feb
-
09 Feb
Next event in
10 days
08 Feb
-
16 Feb
Next event in
10 days
R
Las Vegas
21 Feb
-
23 Feb
Next event in
23 days
R
Fontana
28 Feb
-
01 Mar
Next event in
30 days
R
Phoenix
06 Mar
-
08 Mar
Next event in
37 days
R
Atlanta
13 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
44 days
R
Homestead
20 Mar
-
22 Mar
Next event in
51 days
R
27 Mar
-
29 Mar
Next event in
58 days
R
Bristol
03 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
65 days
R
Richmond
17 Apr
-
19 Apr
Next event in
79 days
R
Talladega
24 Apr
-
26 Apr
Next event in
86 days
R
01 May
-
03 May
Next event in
93 days
R
Martinsville
07 May
-
09 May
Next event in
99 days
R
All-Star
15 May
-
16 May
Next event in
107 days
R
Charlotte
22 May
-
24 May
Next event in
114 days
R
29 May
-
31 May
Next event in
121 days
R
Michigan
05 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
128 days
R
12 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
135 days
R
Chicagoland
19 Jun
-
21 Jun
Next event in
142 days
R
26 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
149 days
R
Indianapolis
03 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
156 days
R
Kentucky
09 Jul
-
11 Jul
Next event in
162 days
R
17 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
170 days
R
Michigan II
07 Aug
-
09 Aug
Next event in
191 days
R
Watkins Glen
14 Aug
-
16 Aug
Next event in
198 days
R
Dover II
21 Aug
-
23 Aug
Next event in
205 days
R
Daytona II
27 Aug
-
29 Aug
Next event in
211 days
R
Darlington
04 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
219 days
R
Richmond II
10 Sep
-
12 Sep
Next event in
225 days
R
Bristol II
17 Sep
-
19 Sep
Next event in
232 days
R
Las Vegas II
25 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
240 days
R
Talladega II
02 Oct
-
04 Oct
Next event in
247 days
R
Charlotte II
09 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
254 days
R
Kansas II
16 Oct
-
18 Oct
Next event in
261 days
R
Texas II
23 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
268 days
R
Martinsville II
30 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
275 days
R
Phoenix II
06 Nov
-
08 Nov
Next event in
282 days

Opinion: Bristol Night Race win says much about SHR, Kurt Busch

shares
comments
Opinion: Bristol Night Race win says much about SHR, Kurt Busch
By:
Aug 19, 2018, 3:26 PM

If I told you a Busch won Saturday’s annual Bass Pro Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway you’d probably guess it was Kyle.

Race winner Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Rush Truck Centers/Cummins and Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation celebrates his win
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Monster Energy / Haas Automation

And that’s not a bad guess because the youngest Busch brother had seven career wins at Bristol as he headed into the 500-lap race on one of NASCAR’s most popular tracks.

However, he still had seven after the completion of the Monster Energy Cup Series race.

If I told you the race was won by a driver out of the Stewart-Haas Racing stable, you’d probably guess Kevin Harvick and again, that would be a mighty fine guess. Harvick had already won seven times this season when the green flag dropped at BMS.

He still had seven wins several hours later when the checkered flag appeared.

Nope, the 40th annual running of the night race saw Kyle Busch wreck early, somehow manage to come back and contend, then cut a tire after contact late in the race. Fans along the fence in Turn 4 jeered the 2015 champ as his car sat disabled on the apron of the track.

Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, has six wins this season, a spot in the playoffs and the points lead. Let ‘em jeer all they want.

Harvick, on the other hand, contended early until an issue forced him to pit road under green and he went two laps down. He spent the bulk of the series’ 24th race working his way back onto the lead lap.

If anyone jeered him, it went unnoticed. Like Busch, he’s playoff bound and among the few favorites expected to compete for the title in Homestead, Fla., later this fall.

The race winner was a Busch and came out of the SHR camp and it was Kurt Busch, and that just goes to show you how crazy and unpredictable NASCAR can be.

Not that Kurt Busch wasn’t a deserving winner. The only thing the 40-year-old seemingly did wrong all night, besides not comb his hair or don a cap after the fact, was leave his helmet and gloves on the roof of his race car when he climbed out to grab the checkered flag and do a quick on-track interview.

Busch was fourth in points heading into the race and fourth when it ended but more importantly he was a winner for the first time this season and like his teammate Harvick, guaranteed a spot in the 16-team playoffs that begin next month.

His last win came early last year. In the season-opening Daytona 500. That’s 58 races. In the meantime, 18 others have visited victory lane.

The win says plenty about SHR – the organization has put three drivers in the winner’s circle this year with Harvick, Clint Bowyer and now Busch. A fourth teammate, Aric Almirola, has run well enough to win. When and if he does, no one should be surprised.

The win also says a lot about Busch, who has suddenly found himself back in the spotlight now that reports of a potential departure from SHR at season’s end have surfaced.

Drivers and teams don’t normally shine when their future is being questioned and what they might or might not be doing next season suddenly starts to overshadow what they are trying to accomplish in the here and now.

But Busch and crew chief Billy Scott and the No. 41 team put all that aside and overcame an early-race crash (cosmetic damage only) and late-race restarts and when the checkered flag flew it was the No. 41 first across the line.

“Winning is great, any time, no matter how long there was in between,” Busch said afterward. “The motivation is always there. …

“For me, you never waiver, you keep focused. The timing was perfect with our team gelling, this Bristol night race (on tap), go after it.”

As for the reports …

“You just stay … laser focused on the task," he said.

Good advice anytime. Great advice Saturday night.

Next article
Kyle Busch: “It just wasn’t meant for us this weekend”

Previous article

Kyle Busch: “It just wasn’t meant for us this weekend”

Next article

Bowyer and Elliott lament missed opportunity at Bristol

Bowyer and Elliott lament missed opportunity at Bristol
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch
Author Kenny Bruce