AUSTIN, TX — Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch met with the media on Friday and sounded optimistic that this weekend’s road course race could be a turning point in his up-and-down season. Busch, driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, is ranked 11th in the standings – only a single point behind 10th place Ross Chastain – coming into the COTA weekend with three top 10 and a single top five in the opening five races of 2022.
He has four NASCAR Cup Series victories on road courses – two each at Watkins Glen and Sonoma, Calif. And four in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, including last year here in Austin. He will start 15th Sunday at COTA.
“I think the car is fine,” Busch said of his season. “We are all trying to figure it out and learn what it potentially is and what it is that makes it go fast, what the knobs are that you need to turn at particular places. I feel like we’ve had decent speed everywhere we’ve been except Phoenix. Phoenix was really bad.
“Vegas, we were fast – coulda, shoulda, woulda – California, we were okay, worked on it and came back from five laps down. … Last week was fast, probably one of the fastest cars in the field and just got caught up in a wreck.
“We don’t have anything to show of this year, which is disappointing. No stage points. That’s about it.”
Does that change this weekend? Sure can. He was fastest in practice. However, speed hasn’t been the issue this year, it’s problems within the race itself. Can he have a clean race on Sunday?
He hopes so.
If you go back to Las Vegas last Fall, he has 8 top 10’s in his last 12 starts. His problem is, he’s not winning. He has just three wins in his last 77 races. He had 18 in the previous 88 starts.