Kyle Busch said his Joe Gibbs Racing Camry was “good right off the bat” in Michigan, and he parlayed that into his second top-five finish in five races.
However, Busch was looking for more in the Firekeepers Casino 400. Going into the second race of the weekend’s doubleheader, Busch hopes there are some things crew chief Adam Stevens and the group to tweak on his machine.
“I’m scared to mess with it to try to make it better,” said Busch. “It was just really, really hard to deal with in traffic. Anytime there was anybody in front of me, I had to be away from them, whether lower or higher, but not follow.
“It would not track at all with the car in front of me. That’s kind of been our ‘MO’ actually. Overall, just work on that.”
Busch did have track position late Saturday, and he even led four laps. Teammate Denny Hamlin pushed him to the top spot off a restart on lap 108, but Kevin Harvick, who had dominated the day, came charging to Busch’s left-rear quarter panel in Turns 3 and 4 four laps later. The two didn’t make physical contact, but the air disturbance shoved Busch wide off the corner, and he lost his track position and momentum.
“Definitely got loose,” said Busch. “I don’t know whether it was contact or just air. I definitely got loose and had to chase it and catch it. Thankfully, we kept it out of the fence, (and) we were able to salvage a fifth.
“Felt like we had a good second-place car today. The M&M’s Fudge Brownie Toyota Camry was fast, just nowhere near his [Harvick] level of fast. The 4 car was just driving away, and I was running wide open and couldn’t even draft with him down the straightaways.
“We definitely didn’t have the speed we needed, but had a good balanced car, good driving car, and hopefully we can work on it a little bit tonight and get it better for tomorrow. Just need to be better in traffic and be able to maneuver and be able to pass just a bit more.”
Through an invert of the top-20 finishers from Saturday’s race to set the starting lineup for Sunday, Busch will line up 16th.