Busch Loses Chance to Win
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on March 19, 2017 | 8:11 P.M. EST
Busch had nearly a three-second lead on the field until Joey Logano’s tire went down and he crashed into the wall to bring out caution only a handful of laps away from the finish of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kyle Busch’s opportunity to win Sunday’s Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway ended with a late-race caution.Busch had nearly a three-second lead on the field until Joey Logano’s tire went down and he crashed into the wall to bring out caution only a handful of laps away from the finish of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
It set up a strategy session that saw eventual winner Ryan Newman among others stay out rather than pit for fresh tires. On the ensuing green-white-checkered finish, Busch was mired back in fourth and with an inside line starting spot could not get back to the front.
“If it was just two that stayed out maybe, but we really needed the outside like (Kyle) Larson had,” said Busch, who wound up finishing third. “Overall we should be proud of our run today and we will move on.”
Busch started ninth and led a race-high 114 laps. His final stop on pit road also had a bit of a hiccup when his brother, Kurt, was trying to pull into his pit stall ahead of him that may have cost him a spot and a chance to challenge for the win on the restart.“It was awesome there at the end and the guys made some really good calls there at the end – Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys did a good job being able to make some good adjustments and make it feel better once we got out front,” said Busch, who has finished in the top-five in the last four Phoenix races.
“Thanks to my pit crew – the car really liked clean air. We just got caught up in traffic a little bit early in the race, but we were mindful of that and just kind of bided our time and got up to the front when we did, but we had a little miscue there on pit road with Kurt (Busch) and from there it was just too many cars that stayed out.”