Kyle Busch entered the Richmond Cup race in a slump.
Well, a slump by Busch’s standard.
After earning 10 top fives in the 11 races that preceded Bristol, he was involved in multiple accidents on the half-mile short track and finished 20th. His next three attempts ended in either a seventh- or eighth-place finish. Most drivers in the field would be happy to score three consecutive top 10s – but it was disconcerting to see Busch run there.
His victory at Richmond served notice that Busch was back on his winning way.
“In a lot of ways, this has turned around their season,” Parker Kligerman said on Monday’s edition of NASCAR America.
“Starting at Darlington you see 0 laps led, average running position of 8.8. It gets worse at Indianapolis and even worse at Vegas,” Kligerman added.
Busch was forced to come from the back of the pack at Richmond after making unapproved body adjustments to his car. He slapped the wall in qualification and flattened the right fenders.
Even after starting in the back, he had an average running position of 8.03 – which was sixth-best in the field.
“We went into Richmond and the question was can the 18 team really turn this around?,” Kligerman asked. “Even if there is a deficiency in equipment – if they’re losing speed to the rest of the field – Kyle Busch can make up for that at a place like Richmond.”
The answer was a resounding “yes.”
For Landon Cassill, the secret to Busch’s success is a combination of determination and finesse.
“(Busch’s) talent isn’t just about being able to stand on the gas,” Cassill said. “He has the ability to have the finesse when he needs to and be good on road courses and be good on tracks with tire falloff, but then obviously can hang it out there on tracks where you have to stand on it too.”
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