Kyle Busch came up one race short in his quest to again sweep a NASCAR weekend.
At his home track, Busch made it to victory lane in both the Truck and Xfinity Series, but wound up third in the Pennzoil 400 Cup race, suffering a pit lane speeding penalty that sent him to the back mid race.
Twice before, in 2010 and 2017, Busch swept all three races in one weekend (both times at Bristol Motor Speedway). But it was not to be this time.
Busch, the ’09 Cup winner at Las Vegas, ran well inside the top 10 early and was leading under green flag conditions when he incurred a speeding penalty entering pit road on Lap 129. He never fully recovered.
“Yeah, because the cars don’t have any speed…” Busch told FOX Sports post-race.
Falling a lap down and as low as 24th on the leaderboard, Busch score no points in Stage 2 and didn’t rejoin the top 10 until past the Lap 170 mark. It took until 62 laps to go before his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry clawed back inside the top five, and, without the benefit of a caution, Busch could not close the deficit to the leading Team Penske Fords.
“You’re wide open just trying to suck off of any cars you can that are in front of you and get a draft. I was running 31[second] flats when I was chasing those leaders down, Busch continued. “But once I got there, I stalled out, slowed to 31.40’s because the wind was just so bad behind those guys that you couldn’t corner, you couldn’t maneuver. I couldn’t run low … If they ran low, I couldn’t run high; if they ran high, I couldn’t get low. So you’re always trying to figure out which way to go.
“I certainly screwed up our day, though [with the speeding penalty]. Coming to pit road there … We tried a different brake package this weekend and I was trying to make up time in order to get a bigger jump on the guys behind me coming to pit road there; I just ruined it for us. We had to come from the back.
“I think we passed the most cars today, so I think we were the most impressive today, but it doesn’t matter because we don’t have a trophy.
“So whatever. The M&M’s Camry was good, and the driver threw it away. Next week.”