Twice this year Kyle Busch has been denied a chance at victory thanks to a pit road penalty (speeding in the Cup race at Las Vegas, tire violation in the Xfinity race at Auto Club Speedway)
But a speeding penalty in Sunday’s Cup race at Auto Club Speedway wasn’t enough to keep Busch from Victory Lane and 200 national NASCAR series wins.
The speeding penalty on Lap 123 and how Busch and his team responded to it is this week’s “Turning Point” on NASCAR America.
Steve Letarte, Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett discussed how Busch navigated the rest of the race after restarting 18th.
Letarte said the tone for the final stretch of the race was set by crew chief Adam Stevens’ counseling of Busch before the green flag and throughout the rest of the race.
Stevens told Busch, “We’ll get back up here in the top 10 in a handful of laps, get a couple of cautions and get right back in it.”
Said Jarrett: “(Stevens) knew how much he beat himself up after Las Vegas for the mistake he made there. But look at the moves (Busch) made here (on the restart). This doesn’t look like to me a driver who listened to any of that.”
As the final stage played out, Busch went from 10th to fifth in 23 laps, while the gap between him and race leader Brad Keselowski grew.
“Now he has a choice,” Letarte said. “You can try to short pit Brad Keselowski, I feel that would be futile. Brad knows who he’s racing, he’d short pit on top of you. Instead he runs long and he lets Brad come to pit road first.”
But Stevens was right. A caution would wave on Lap 165 for debris during the green flag stops and while Busch was leading.
After he pit under caution, Busch restarted second with 30 laps to and took the lead five laps later.
Watch the above video for the full segment.