Busch Banking on Better Days

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch went to Victory Lane at Michigan when the series visited last August. (Photo: Getty Images)

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Kyle Busch is ready to put his last two weeks of problems behind with a good run in Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has been forced out of both Dover and Pocono by engine problems in his previous two outings, adding to some mounting concerns inside the No. 18 camp.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Busch. “These guys here at Joe Gibbs Racing and everybody on this team deserves better than this. It’s unfortunate that we just aren’t getting the results we need because (crew chief) Dave (Rogers) and the guys have been working hard and bringing good cars to the racetrack.

“We just haven’t been able to figure out what has caused our problems the last two weeks. I know a lot of people are working hard to get it figured out.”

Despite having a win to his record, Busch has fallen to 12th in the Sprint Cup Series point standings heading into the 15th race of the season on Sunday at Michigan.

But Busch brings a great deal of confidence to the two-mile track since he went to Victory Lane at MIS when the series visited last August. He also finished third in the June race and led a total of 81 laps between both events last season.

However, things are quite the same this time around in the Irish Hills. A brand new track surface awaits Sprint Cup Series teams this weekend with record speeds expected, although Busch believes they will be down a tick from the April tire test he participated in at MIS.

“I expect it to be fast. With a new surface, there’s always a lot of grip,” he said. “Obviously, it’s going to be warmer than what it was back in April for the tire test, so it might not be as fast as it was then.”

Busch remembered the challenge of dialing in his car with such intense speeds during the test and understands how important set-up will be this weekend.

“It was really intense,” said Busch. “We finally got the car tightened up enough where the car wasn’t nervous, and then it didn’t make me nervous and we were fine. But you are hauling there, now, for sure.”

However, even with a fresh coat of asphalt and a new racing surface, Busch says the venerable old Michigan track will still present drivers with the same opportunities to race as always.

“Regardless of new pavement or not, it’s wide-open racing and you can run from top to bottom,” said Busch. “The biggest thing used to be to find grip there. But with the new surface, there is a ton of grip now. Before, you had grip for maybe five laps, and then you’d just be out to lunch. But now the tire wear is all out the window, and the racetrack is going to be very fast.”

Michigan has always had a reputation as a multiple grooved track and the recent reconfiguration isn’t expected to change that option for drivers.

Busch says that’s a good thing.

“And the wide racetrack is good,” he added. “That’s what makes Michigan so exciting and so fun. That’s the biggest deal about it. For me, coming to Michigan, I tend to run well there. For whatever reason, I haven’t had too many great finishes to show for it until last year, and then we had a great year there and got our first win in August.”

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 starting at 12 p.m. The 200-lap event will be streamed live online at www.motorracingnetwork.com.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kyle Busch

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