Kyle Busch had a “hell of a day” and “hell of a weekend” at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“On the Cup side we just had no fun this weekend, so it was really unfortunate for us,” Busch said.
After qualifying sixth on Friday evening, Busch clocked in the second-fastest time before wrecking his primary car in final practice Saturday afternoon. Later that day, he won the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race to become the winningest driver in the series at 52 victories.
But back on the Cup Series side, Busch had his work cut out for him having to come from the rear of the field in a backup car. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was up and down the leaderboard all day, running inside the top 10 when something again went wrong.
On Lap 222, Busch brought out the caution when the right-rear tire went down and damaged his fender. Able to stay on the lead lap and have repairs made, Busch again drove from the back of the field back into contention. On the final restart, he went from 14th to a sixth-place finish.
“I got in the fence just a little bit in the center of (Turns) 1 and 2,” Busch said of the tire problem. “Just touched it and then kind of smelled some smoke and never saw any and thought we’d be OK. Overall, it just must have rubbed it and cut it down. Fortunately, we got a caution there; caught us a break and was able to get tires on the thing and pull it back out and go back after them.
“What a hell of a weekend for all of our guys on this Creamy Snickers Camry — it was just evil tight all day long. We just couldn’t get the tight out of it. We were battling and running the wall all day long, and that’s where I needed to be in order to make up any time. Doing that, you run close to the fence, and you run into opportunities to get yourself in trouble.”
With a few cars laying over for the race start, Busch lined up about 31st . He was 12th by the competition caution on Lap 35, which is where he would also finish Stage 1. He then earned points in Stage 2 by being ninth at its conclusion.
“Guys worked hard and persevered, and we battled through and took probably a 16th-, 14th-place finish in our Camry and ended up sixth with it,” said Busch. “So not too bad I guess.”