This was going to be the race weekend that set the barometer for Kyle Busch. The defending NASCAR Cup Series champion had yet to win this year. In fact, other than his win in the season finale last year at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Busch hasn’t won in over a year.
But, Pocono was up and Busch had won three of the last five NASCAR Cup Series races on the 2.5-mile race track heading into this weekend.
Now that both races are behind us, Busch ended up 0-for-2. He’s also 0-for-15 on the year too.
When will this drought end? He’s only won just one race in his last 37 tries in NASCAR’s premiere series.
Part of that is the lack of practice time this year. Ever since the COVID-19 break ended, NASCAR has eliminated the use of practice. For Busch, his cars aren’t evolving during a race like he would have hoped and that’s because they’re chasing his No. 18 Toyota all day. In the past, they could get it dialed in during the practice sessions and hit the ground running.
On Saturday, he finished fifth but his race car wasn’t quite to his liking. The good news is, they could treat it like a glorified practice session, one that was 325 miles in length.
They’d have enough info to get his car dialed for Sunday’s race right?
Busch, didn’t have a good No. 18 Toyota early, but there they were in the lead on Lap 57, just prior to his first pit stop for tires. Unfortunately, a few laps later he was battling with a lapped car as well as Ryan Blaney in Turn 2 and crashed hard as a result.
“The guys just did an awesome job from yesterday to today,” said Busch. “I guess it proves that you get a little practice time that we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. Hopefully life gets back to normal eventually. We’re in 2020 so it doesn’t surprise me that we got crashed out of the lead.
“It’s very frustrating unfortunate. I know what happened but it doesn’t make any sense to talk about it. It will just come across in a bad way.”
Busch, would finish 38th in the Pocono 350 and is winless with two good tracks for him coning up still. While he’s still setting up good in the playoff standings, the speed in his car hasn’t been there yet this year to win.
The defending Cup champion did look like he was going to have a shot at a win later in this race if things went to plan, but the problem is, as we sit here today we have no further practice sessions scheduled for any of the races left on the schedule.