I wrote heading into the week that the “Big 3” needed to show me something this weekend at Kansas. All three are at their best on the 1.5-mile track and have been at their best this season on these types of tracks in general. For Kyle Busch, Kansas was just what the doctor ordered.
Busch, brought his No. 18 Toyota home runner-up in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 for just his second top five finish over the last eight races on the season. He had seven top three finishes in the first nine races of the year but just two now since the Bristol night race. That’s why this second place run on Sunday was so big for him. It shows that winning isn’t so far off after all.
What was a tad puzzling though was Busch had 44 laps in the end to chase down and pass Chase Elliott for the win and he couldn’t do it. Busch, was the fastest driver on the 10 lap average charts in both practices on Saturday while Elliott was only eighth and 13th respectively. Instead, Elliott held Busch off by less than a second.
Where Busch needs to be a tad bit worried is that he didn’t lead a single lap on Sunday and only led one lap last weekend in Talladega. For the entire Round of 12, he led 22 total laps.
If you take out Richmond, Busch led just 23 laps combined in the other five playoff races.
The speed still isn’t there yet but at least the finishes are coming. Sunday was a step in the right direction.