It was Kyle Busch vs. the 2019 package again on Monday Morning in the Bojangles Southern 500.
Busch finished third in Monday Morning’s race but the finish position was no symbol of how hard he worked during the night. Busch started the race in 37th after having to change the engine following qualifying. That engine had speed and the speed showed as he raced his way toward the front of the field. Busch’s pit crew was one of the real MVPs of the night, but one falter was what put him behind the eight-ball. Busch came down pit road first and came out third and from that point, he couldn’t make it up.
“You just can’t get there with this package,” said Busch. “Such a one-lane race track, there’s not enough options, not enough grooves to get air on your car to close that gap and make that pass. We kinda lost control of that race on pit road when we came down the leader and came out third.
“I thought if we could just keep in touch with those guys and keep close with them then we might be able to out pit road them at the end of the race and we did one of them but not the other one but not the other one.”
Erik Jones, his teammate, and former Kyle Busch Motorsports driver held off Busch in the end. Busch was just pushing for Jones to make a mistake when in the end, he was the one to make the mistake. He smacked the outside wall a few times and ultimately blew a tire because of it. In most cases, a driver would’ve had to pit and ultimately lose the entire race but not for the No. 18. Busch literally rode the fence all the way around the final few laps and salvaged a third-place finish.
“When he started to inch out a little bit, I was trying to save my right front because I knew my right front wasn’t going to make it the whole rest of the way without me knocking the wall down,” he explained. “I was right, I hit the wall with about four to go then I hit it again with three to go and it killed it that time. Luckily we were able to salvage a third just dragging the fence for the last two laps.
“I don’t think I have ever seen NASCAR not throw a caution that ser… oh yeah that’s right I blew a right-front tire at California in an Xfinity race and we had to finish that whole last lap so it doesn’t surprise me.”
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 2, 2019
With the third-place finish, Busch clinches the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular-season championship for the second straight season. One more race remains to settle the rest of the playoff field next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
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