Kyle Busch closing in on Chase field
Kyle Busch remains outside the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but his victory in Saturday's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway edged him closer. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have already clinched spots in the playoff, while Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch look to be locks to make the field as well. Busch, meanwhile, is now just 34 points behind 12th-placed Matt Kenseth -- and just 84 ahead of seventh-placed Ryan Newman as the bottom half of the Chase remains wide open. Atlanta and Richmond are next up -- both tracks where Busch has won in the past.
Busch says he and crew chief Steve Addington met last week to map out what proved at Bristol, at least, to be a winning hand.
“We're thinking about going back more of what we ran setup-wise like last year at some of the places, see if it works,” Busch said. “We got to try something. We've fallen behind a little bit this year for some reason. I don't know that we've fallen behind as much as everybody else has just gotten better. The Hendrick cars, man, they are just so strong. They were really, really good in 2007, I think they won half the races, especially with the new COT. Last year it looked like we had things going our way, we were really good with it. This year they've been back on top. The 14, the 48 has been good, the 5 has been really, really good.
“It's tough. Competition changes all the time, there's waves that go up and down. This year we've been in one of those downs. We're trying to make the Chase. If we barely make it in, we've been clawing at it for the past five weeks just trying to get back up there and make it in. We had a respectable run at Pocono. We lost ground at Michigan on the last run. We had a part that hit our car and ended up bending another piece on our car that caused it to get tight. Just unfortunate circumstances sometimes bite you. You can't do anything about it.
“This year has just been a lot of bad luck, too -- on my part just being dumb, and getting in the wrong position at the wrong time, and yet just some other failures that we might have had.”