Busch Brings Home Second at Indy

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch is currently 11th in the Sprint Cup Series standings. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Kyle Busch turned in a solid performance to finish second in Sunday’s Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver came to Indianapolis with a string of finishes outside the top 10 in six of his previous seven races. The runner-up effort behind race winner Jimmie Johnson was something Busch says was much needed by the entire No. 18 team.

“Good effort by the whole M&M's team, proud of them," said Busch. "For the last eight weeks that we've had, we've run well, we just have not been able to close out the deal and finish where we've been running, so this was a good day to be able to do that."

Busch gave some credit to Sunday’s solid outing to his time behind the wheel the previous day in the Nationwide Series debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Spending valuable time on track, even in a car that differs from the Sprint Cup ride, was definitely beneficial.

But Busch also was quick to point out that it didn’t hurt to have a Cup ride as good as the one the team prepared for the Brickyard.

“We had a really good race car today,” said Busch. (Crew chief) Dave (Rogers) and the guys brought a phenomenal piece here from the Joe Gibbs Racing shop and we worked on it well this weekend, and we felt like unloading right off the truck it was pretty good, felt pretty comfortable.

“The laps in the Nationwide car in my Monster Energy Camry there I think helped a little bit, but also just having a good race car over on this side helped a little bit, too.”

As is usually the case, strategy played a large part in deciding Sunday’s outcome at Indianapolis. Busch explained what the approach was for the 18 team in terms of tire and fuel plans and they would react to what others did on pit road.

“Just tire strategy kind of played into the role of what guys were going to do on pit road, whether it was going to be four or whether it was going to be two,” he said. “It seemed like any time we'd get too many laps on our tires, then we'd put rights on. It just wouldn't be as fast as if you'd just put four on.

“But you've got to play the track position game, too. It takes a lot of car to pass people here, and sometimes you're not able to do that. You've just got to be able to get up there and get up in front of them.”

Unfortunately while Busch had a strong car, it wasn’t quite good enough to catch or rundown Johnson for the top spot.

“Can't say enough about the effort the guys put in for our best finish here and our best run,” he said. “If it wasn't for the 48, we were probably in our zip code on the rest of the field, but Jimmie Johnson was in his own country today, so we just couldn't keep up with him. That was the best we had, and it seemed like that was the best anybody had.”

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