Raiders defense improved, fans ask why? | Raiders News

Explore now

Kyle Busch prepares for Pennzoil 400 at hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway | NASCAR | Sports

Kyle Busch prepares for Pennzoil 400 at hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway | NASCAR | Sports

Kyle Busch admits that racing at his hometown track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been frustrating.

Busch has five top-five finishes in the past six races at the 1.5-mile track, with four third-place finishes his best results.

But the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has just one victory, in 2009, which is his focus as he reaches the latter stage of his career.

“It’s been oh, so close, but no trophy. So that’s really frustrating,” the Las Vegas native said. “Of course, being my hometown, it means a lot to be able to run well and have a good finish there. I’m kind of tired of the third-place (finishes).”

Busch enters Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at the speedway leading the standings by one point over Daytona 500 champion William Byron. The green flag is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., and qualifying will take place Saturday.

“Having good strong starts to the season helps your whole year and sets the tone,” said Busch, who finished third Sunday at Atlanta in a three-wide photo finish in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history. “This definitely has been a good kickoff.”

The 38-year-old is in his second season with Richard Childress Racing after spending 16 years driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.

“We had a good time learning each other last year and being able to get some of that camaraderie going,” Busch said. “We were able to work and build our notebook and build our program in order to get stronger and to get ourselves a good start to the season.”

Busch found early success with his new team, winning three times in the first 15 races last season. But his quest for his third championship ended early, as he was eliminated after the Round of 12 in the playoffs following finishes of 25th and 32nd.

Busch said this offseason he and his team went through the notebook they developed last season to build upon their success and eliminate their mistakes.

“The No. 8 team is a strong group,” Busch said. “I’ve enjoyed working with everybody there and having that relationship with all of them. We won three races last year, a couple of them really early in the season.

“We’d love nothing more than to be able to back that up again this year and carry that strength through the whole year and not get too quiet in the second half of the year.”

He credited the open-mindedness of crew chief Randall Burnett for helping the two have a “good understanding” of each other.

“Randall is a tough competitor as well,” Busch said. “He’s raced before, so he knows what it’s like to be behind the wheel.”

Busch said last year’s third-place finish in the fall was a good sign of “improvement” throughout the season to help the team with preparation through this week.

He said he hopes it can lead to an opportunity to get a second win at his home track after narrowly missing out in Atlanta.

“There’s a lot of points right there that you miss out on, but you’re not always going to be able to get those,” Busch said. “Being in those positions more often than not, you’re going to start picking some (wins). That’s where we want to be.”

Busch also will race in Friday night’s Victoria’s Voice 200 Truck Series, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado for Spire Motorsports. He’s the winningest driver in the series with 102 wins.

The first item on Busch’s agenda when he gets to Las Vegas: “When you get off the plane, you go to In-N-Out,” he said with a chuckle. “That’s the secret.”

Contact Alex Wright at [email protected]. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

Source link

Related Posts