Busch Racing for Playoff Life

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch has his championship hopes on the line in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Kyle Busch has his championship hopes on the line in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Busch enters the final race of the second round in this year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs seven points below the cutline. He trails Jimmie Johnson for the final berth that advances to the next round and is a scant one marker ahead of Matt Kenseth.

The pressure is on Busch this weekend, but don’t expect the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to deviate from what has worked so well so far this season.

"Same preparation, nothing different," Busch said. "We need to do our best and try to limit our mistakes. That's what's helped us out there over the years and turned our team into a contender every time we race there. We'll see where the points fall if we can’t get a win."

There was a time when Busch’s statement about winning at Kansas Speedway seemed overly optimistic. Early in his career, the 1.5-mile oval proved to be one of the biggest challenges on the schedule for Busch. In fact, in 2012 and 2013, Busch endured a string of three straight DNFs.

But things have gone much better in recent years and Busch has the best average finish among active drivers at Kansas over the last five races, 4.0. That includes a win in 2016, which Busch points to as a turning point in changing his Kansas career.

"It’s suddenly become a good place for us," he said. "We’ve had a good string of top fives so hopefully, we can move on from the last two weekends and have another good run to give us a shot at making it to the next round."

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will have live coverage of Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400, beginning at 2 p.m. (ET) - with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.

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