By: Ashley McCubbin
Kyle Busch should have won each of the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series events he entered this year, based on the sheer speed shown. However, he only has a pair of trophies from the four races.
He came out strong, dominating en route to winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Since then, it’s been a different story. He may have placed second at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but only after dealing with mechanical issues in relation to the suspension and a speeding penalty. He then followed it up with a 22nd-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway after contact with the wall and speeding on pit road once again.
He celebrated on Saturday, but that wasn’t without a fight. He had to start at the tail of the field and serve a pass-thru penalty on the opening lap due to failing pre-race inspection in relation to the track-bar mount. Once again, his talent behind the wheel and speed of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra saved him, as he made his way to the front to win the second stage, and ultimately score the victory.
While acknowledging that he’s “thrown away the last two races,” Busch stated the infraction on Saturday a fluke deal.
“I guess some rules were changed over the off-season and the truck we ran tonight I think ran here at Homestead last year and they just put it off to the side knowing that I would be in it in March,” he explained. “It’s now June, but still it never made it’s way to the fab shop for some updates or for some bars that needed to be cut out due to NASCAR changing the rules. We missed it and came down here with that bar in there and I guess they wanted to prove a point. We had a big penalty, probably bigger than it would have been if there had been another driver in the truck.
“We’ll take it and move on. We kicked everybody’s ass anyways. Great night for our Cessna Beechcraft Toyota Tundra. It was cool to get out there and run as we should and how we know KBM ttrucks have the speed to do.”
Busch may cause it a fluke deal, but recall it’s the third mistake in a row now for him and his team. Now while seeing him overcome adversity adds to the entertainment, it could be cause for concern.
A team as capable of his should be aware of rule changes, and understand where things need to be addressed. Instead, to see this simply missed in their steps to be ready displays what some may call bad preparation.
Now Busch’s capability allows him to still find his way to the front, but what about Raphael Lessard and Christian Eckes? If Kyle Busch Motorsports continues to suffer through gaps in preparation, it could ultimately cost the team a shot at the title with their young drivers.
As far as Busch, he will be back behind the wheel of one of his trucks at Texas Motor Speedway, and for as many races as he can in the years to come.
“As long as I’m allowed to race and my name is on the door, I’ll be running as many as I possibly can,” he said. “You’re not going to get rid of me. Maybe one day they’ll lax the rules again and I can run more or maybe one day I’ll just come run trucks like Mark Martin did after he was done with his Cup stuff and I’ll go run all the truck races and get a truck championship so who knows.”