Kyle Busch finished second to teammate Martin Truex Jr. in what he called a valiant effort at Richmond Raceway.
“And that’s all it had,” said Busch.
Busch, who was looking for back-to-back wins on the Virginia short oval, did lead the most laps Saturday night in the Federated Auto Parts 400 with 202. But he was passed for the lead and the win with 25 laps to go, watching as Truex drove away.
“We had a really good car; just kind of lacked a little bit overall all night I guess,” said Busch. “The 19, Martin, the team, the car, whatever, was just a tick better than us. When I was leading there, he could follow a lot closer than I anticipated or thought he should be able to. I knew he had a good car and if it came down to a finish like that I’d be in trouble.”
Richmond was still a successful night for Busch in two ways. First, he clinched his spot in the Round of 12 on points with one weekend left in the first round at the Charlotte road course. In doing so, Busch and crew chief Adam Stevens can now approach the next race differently.
“For us, just trying to get stage points and trying to get a win if we can get a win,” said Busch. “We can really go there and attack and not worry about a whole lot.”
Second, Richmond was the first race in which Busch had led laps since Darlington earlier this month as well as his first top-10 finish in three weeks.
“I know we’re capable of it, I’m capable of it, team’s capable of it; just stupid things have been biting us this year. We put it all together tonight, though,” he said. “I didn’t speed on pit road. Pit crew did a good job. Car was fast. And we made the most of our effort.”