LOUDON, N.H. – Adam Stevens doesn’t shy from what the Chase for the Sprint Cup is like.
“It’s pretty stressful,’’ said the crew chief for Kyle Busch after Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Stevens’ feelings are understandable. Busch finished 37th, the result of a blown right front tire sending his car into the wall during the Sylvania 300. Stevens said it appeared that the tire had been cut and developed a slow leak before the incident.
The accident – and laps lost in the garage for repairs – dropped Busch to 13th in the points standings heading into this weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway. The top 12 transfer to the second round.
Busch’s situation is not as dire as reigning champion Kevin Harvick’s. Busch is one point from the final transfer spot, which is held by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Harvick is 23 points behind Earnhardt and likely needs to win this weekend’s race to advance.
Busch finished 36th at Dover in May, but he was running in the top five when he had an incident with Brian Scott that sent Busch’s car into the wall. With the way that Busch ran that day and that Busch has eight top-10 finishes in his last 11 Sprint Cup races at Dover, Stevens feels good about this weekend’s race.
“I know we can go there and have a good day,’’ he said. “We’re not (in a) win-at-all-costs situation. We’ve got to go and have a good strong day at Dover and avoid some mistakes.’’
If they do, then Busch should be able to advance to the second round of the Chase and move closer to a championship bid in a season where he missed 11 races after being injured in an Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway in February.