Its been a trying year for the entire Joe Gibbs Racing camp during the 2017 NASCAR season. Out of the first eight races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, six different teams have won already. Unfortunately for JGR, they’re not among those six teams. In fact, they’ve struggled a bunch all year, with only Kyle Busch among the four standing out so far.
With that being said, can Busch put JGR in victory lane for the first time all season this weekend at the Richmond International Raceway?
Busch, finished second on another Virginia short track earlier this year at Martinsville. He was stout that day. On top of that, last year in this very same Richmond race, Busch’s JGR teammate of Carl Edwards moved him out of the way in the final corner of the final lap en route to the victory. Busch would finish second.
In the playoffs at Richmond in 2015, Busch came home second too giving him two runner-up finishes in his last three Richmond starts. If you go back to the Spring race in 2014, the one in which Busch finished third, Busch has three top three’s in five RIR starts.
But, he’s been great as a whole at RIR. Busch has made 23 career Richmond starts, in those starts, he has 15 top five finishes. That’s a top five in all but eight races at Richmond for Busch.
In practice on Friday, Busch was eighth quickest. In qualifying, he qualified his No. 18 Toyota seventh.
So, will that lead the Las Vegas native to victory lane this weekend?
The team sure hopes so. He hasn’t won since Indy last year, he’s due.