By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on April 10, 2016 | 2:30 A.M. EST
Busch scored his second Texas Sprint Cup win. (Photo: Getty Images)
Maybe Kyle Busch is making up for lost time.
After missing 11 races last year due to injuries he suffered in a season-opening XFINITY Series race accident at Daytona, Busch roared back to win five times and the Sprint Cup Series championship.
He’s on pace to at least double that amount with his second win in seven races coming Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Oh and for good measure, he’s added Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series victories the last two weeks and is currently on a roll of four straight NASCAR national series wins.
Busch didn’t dominate Saturday night the way he did last week at Martinsville, but he was good when it counted most at the end of the race. Much of that credit goes to crew chief Adam Stevens, who made several adjustments to the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota throughout the 500-mile grind to get it just right in the final stages.
The rest was up to Busch and once he saw an opportunity to take the top spot from Martin Truex Jr. on what turned out to be the last restart of the night, he pounced on it and never looked back.
His performance will no doubt spark another week of discussion as the most polarizing driver in the sport triggers much emotion from millions of fans, some who will happy to celebrate his accomplishment and others well not so much.
However, the sight of Busch celebrating in Victory Lane has been commonplace in 2016 and it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.
- Saturday night’s race didn’t feature the type of racing the new lower downforce aerodynamic package seemed to create at previous intermediate tracks so far this year. There was much more single file racing than the side-by side competition on display at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Auto Club Speedway. Afternoon rains washed away all of the rubber that had been put down by the weekend’s practice sessions and Saturday’s XFINITY Series race, so perhaps the changing track conditions added to the challenge for drivers. But overall the season’s first trip of the year to Texas lacked much in the way of excitement or energy compared to what we’ve seen so far this year.
- Chase Elliott continues to shine in his rookie Sprint Cup season. The talented young driver turned in his best career performance with a fifth-place finish in only his 12th start and seems poised to have a more than fair shot at finding his way to Victory Lane before his freshman year ends.
- Clint Bowyer’s frustration bubbled over in Texas when he discussed his plight with the media. Bowyer’s transition year with HScott Motorsports before he moves over to Stewart-Haas Racing to take Tony Stewart’s has gone about as bad as the veteran driver could have imagined. “I’m pretty miserable right now and I don’t aim to be that way for a year,” Bowyer told Motorsport.com. “Here’s the thing, in the situation you’re in, yes, you want to rip the leather off the steering wheel and get mad and everything else but it doesn’t do any good. And you know these guys are working their asses off to get you to where you are even at. It’s just they don’t have the tools that these other teams have.”
- Kyle Busch continued his mastery of the XFINITY Series Friday night with another win leading 250 of the night’s 200 laps. His Texas triumph was the 80th series win of his career and he’s been victorious in four races this season. There hasn’t been a victory yet by an XFINITY Series regular and with Busch and the dominant Joe Gibbs Racing team expected to be in another ten races this season, it’s going to be tough for the Sprint Cup interlopers to be derailed.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.