Winless Streak Extended: Kyle Busch Misses Out on Bristol Victory

NASCAR NASCAR Cup Series

By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer

The Bristol King himself, Kyle Busch, nearly ended a 28-race winless streak Saturday night that has covered the entirety of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Instead, that number extends to 29, as a late-race battle with Kevin Harvick at Bristol Motor Speedway ended with Busch coming home second. The lengthy fight nearly ended with a bump-and-run from Busch, however, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota wasn’t quite close enough.

“I don’t know, just came up short. What do you say,” Busch said. “Just didn’t have enough at the end. The guys did a great job and gave me a really great piece tonight to contend and at least be up there and be close.

“You know, just felt like this was one of our greater shots to win. Unfortunately, just didn’t have enough.”

Leading 159 laps on the night, Busch was confident in his ride. Starting from the rear of the field after failing inspection twice, he rallied to finish second in Stage 1 (eventually winning Stage 2).

Continuing what has been a personal high mark for a single racetrack, Busch led 100 or more laps for the 10th time at the half-mile. Still, the win wasn’t in the cards as he nabbed his 14th Bristol top-five finish.

The frustration stemmed from lapped cars and the difficulty of maneuvering traffic whilst racing for the win.

“Lapped cars were definitely a problem,” he said. “It’s part of racing. You have to try to get around them where you can and there was just no room for me to do what I needed to do with a couple of those opportunities to get past them.”

One lapped car that derailed Busch’s run for the win was Joey Logano, who ran the outside lane in front of Busch, opening the inside for Harvick to squeeze into the lead.

 

“He’s nobody’s friend for a reason, so there you have it,” he said of Logano. We got the lead from the [No.] 4 there on the last run and just got stuck with the No. 22 (Logano), as usual, him being a dickhead.

“Then the last lap, I don’t even know who the hell the black car was who just stopped on the backstretch. That’s it, we lost.”

If not for the lapped car of Joey Gase, Busch believes he would have had a better shot at getting to Harvick in the final corner.

 

“If that lap car wasn’t there, I would have blown it in on the outside or the inside and maybe we would have banged each other’s doors or whatever and had a greater finish to the checkered,” he said. “But some of them [expletive] kids don’t know what the hell they’re doing or where they’re at and can’t stay out of the way. Nothing like a [Joey] Gase and a [Garrett] Smithley.”

Advancing to the Round of 12, set to kick off next Sunday from Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Busch will start the round as the 10th seed of 12.

“We had a really good Skittles Camry; it was fast and the team gave me a piece to contend with at least,” he said. “We definitely weren’t the fastest car. The No. 4 was definitely the fastest car. We made some adjustments there the last run and got closer and better. Just lapped traffic.”

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