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Busch Finishes Solid Second at the Brickyard

July 29th, 2012 by

Team Interstate racing wrap-up for July 28-29, 2012:

Kyle Busch and the 18 team had solid performances in the pits on Sunday.

Kyle Busch and the 18 team had solid performances in the pits on Sunday. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

Even though Kyle Busch finished second in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 19th annual Brickyard 400, don’t blame him for wanting to do a celebratory burnout after taking the checkered flag.

Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’s/Interstate Batteries® Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, had been experiencing a bad-luck streak over the last seven races that had left him without a top-five finish since May. But Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the talented 27-year-old finally got the monkey off his back by bringing home his sixth top-five finish of the season that vaulted him two spots upward to 11th in the point standings.

“It was just a great day for us in this M&M’s Camry – it was phenomenal,” said Busch, who now has six top-10 finishes in eight career Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis. “We unloaded really well. Dave Rogers (crew chief) and the guys gave me a great racecar. I can’t say enough about them. We gave it everything we had – we had a little miscue on a pit stop, there, but we rebounded nicely and we were able to come out of here with a second place today. It feels like a win for us for as bad as the last two months have gone. Just excited to hopefully be able to turn this around and hopefully start getting headed in the right direction – get ourselves finishing the way we we’ve been running.”

Kyle Busch and Crew Chief Dave Rogers chat before Sunday's race.

Kyle Busch and Crew Chief Dave Rogers chat before Sunday's race. Copyright 2012 Autostock Images

While Busch had a strong racecar, he knew he didn’t have anything for race-winner Jimmie Johnson, who appeared to be the class of the field as he pulled away easily in the final laps and beat Busch across the finish line by 4.758 seconds.

“Jimmie had a really, really good racecar, that’s for sure,” Busch said. “Jimmie Johnson wasn’t even in his own ZIP code today, he was in his own country. But, all in all for our team, we’re just excited about the opportunity to get going here to Pocono and Watkins Glen – a couple of places we’re really excited about going back to and build of our finish here today.”

Busch’s JGR companions – Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, and Joey Logano, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry – finished sixth and 33rd, respectively.

With round 20 of 36 complete, Hamlin leads the JGR trio in the championship point standings. He remained fifth with 667 points, 64 behind new series leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. Busch moved up two spots to 11th with 588 points, 143 out of first and 55 behind 10th-place Clint Bowyer. Logano dropped one position to 17th with 544 points, 187 away from the top spot and 99 behind 10th.

Driver Standings After Race 20 of 36
RANK
+/-
DRIVER
POINTS
BEHIND
POLES
WINS
TOP 5
TOP 10
1 +1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 731 Leader 0 1 9 15
2 -1 Matt Kenseth 717 -14 1 1 9 13
3 Greg Biffle 709 -22 2 1 9 12
4 Jimmie Johnson 704 -27 1 3 10 15
5 Denny Hamlin 667 -64 2 2 9 11
6 Kevin Harvick 653 -78 0 0 3 9
7 +1 Martin Truex Jr. 653 -78 1 0 4 10
8 -1 Tony Stewart 652 -79 0 3 8 10
9 +1 Brad Keselowski 649 -82 0 3 6 10
10 -1 Clint Bowyer 643 -88 0 1 4 10
11 +2 Kyle Busch 588 -143 1 1 6 9
13 -1 Kasey Kahne 579 -152 2 2 5 10
17 -1 Joey Logano 544 -187 1 1 2 7

Mike Edwards at Sonoma

Photo courtesy mikeedwardsmotorsports.com

NHRA Drag Racing: Edwards Qualifies for Countdown

At the NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Mike Edwards drove his Penhall/K&N/Interstate Batteries Pontiac to the No. 2-qualified spot in the 16-car field. From the No. 2 position, Edwards opened competition against Gordie Rivera. Edwards easily marched to victory when Rivera could not keep pace with Edwards’ 6.533.

In the round of eight, Edwards’ day continued when he slowed Larry Morgan’s upset bid with a 6.587. His run made him lose lane choice in the next frame, but it also clinched Edwards’ spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.

In the final four, Edwards’ weekend ended on the starting line when he fouled by 14-thousandths and sent Greg Anderson into the final.

“When we lost lane choice for the semifinals, I knew it was going to be tough to run with Anderson, so we took a shot and came up short,” Edwards said. “Overall, it was a solid weekend. Any time you can win two rounds of competition, it keeps you in the thick of things come the end of the year. Now off to Seattle, to see if we can take the next step and get back to the final.”

After 14 events, Edwards sits fourth in points.

NHRA Pro Stock Standings After Race 14 of 23

Position

 Driver

Points

01

Allen Johnson

1,234

02

Greg Anderson

1,180

03

Jason Line

1,149

04

Mike Edwards

 974

05

Vincent Nobile

 940

06

Erica Enders

 823

07

Shane Gray

 560

08

Ronnie Humphrey

 550

09

Ron Krisher

 527

10

Jeg Coughlin Jr

 518

Next week: NASCAR returns to Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, where Joey Logano won in June, and NHRA drag racing heads to Seattle.
By James Pecht (177 Posts)

James Pecht writes about franchising, battery technology, tips, racing and company culture for Interstate Batteries.


Posted in Racing
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10 comments
Scott Gilbert
Scott Gilbert

@Glen - Yeah, he would have been perfectly in his right to wreck Hornish two weeks ago. Put him in his place.

Glen Tippett
Glen Tippett

Although, I really think that you need to get the fire that you have had a couple of years ago. Just don't go off the deep end, you know.

Glen Tippett
Glen Tippett

Way to go Kyle. Keep them coming and you'll get a win soon. We are on our way back to the chase.

Scott Gilbert
Scott Gilbert

It wasn't all that long ago where Kyle would have been POed after a 2nd-place finish.

Scott Gilbert
Scott Gilbert

@Glen - Yeah, he would have been perfectly in his right to wreck Hornish two weeks ago. Put him in his place.

Glen Tippett
Glen Tippett

Although, I really think that you need to get the fire that you have had a couple of years ago. Just don't go off the deep end, you know.

Glen Tippett
Glen Tippett

Way to go Kyle. Keep them coming and you'll get a win soon. We are on our way back to the chase.

Scott Gilbert
Scott Gilbert

It wasn't all that long ago where Kyle would have been POed after a 2nd-place finish.

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