Luck Eludes Team Interstate in Vegas
With 100 laps in the books in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, it looked as if Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch was about to have his second career victory at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Peanut/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) led three times for a total of 52 laps, but handling woes in the second half of the race dropped him from at least a top-five finish, if not a win, to 11th when the checkered flag waved.
“We had a really up and down day with our M&M’s Peanut Camry,” said Kyle, who won a Sprint Cup race in 2009 at Las Vegas. “We started off getting blocked in the pits and had to come from the back. The car was too loose on the first run and we tightened it up and it was really fast for a while there. But we kept adjusting on it to try and help the tight in the center of the corner, and it was just getting looser and looser, especially on the last run. Just disappointing when we looked like we had a good car earlier in the race.”
Kyle’s JGR companions – Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry – finished 10th and 12th, respectively.
Brad Keselowski won the Kobalt 400 to score his 11th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Las Vegas.
Elliott started 13th and immediately raced his way into the top-10. He was seventh by lap five around the 1.5-mile oval before the car developed a loose-handling condition whenever it exited the track’s corners.
As the first round of green-flag pit stops was about to finish, NASCAR threw the first caution flag of the race for debris on lap 57, causing the No. 11 team to lose a lap to the leaders. A long green flag run put Sadler a second lap down while racing in 16th position on lap 125. By that time there were only eight cars on the lead lap as the leaders continued to set a blistering pace in the 200-lap race.
“The Interstate Batteries team really worked hard to get a good finish today at Las Vegas,” Sadler said. “We wanted a little better result, but I have to hand it to the guys on the pit box, in the garage and on pit road – no one gave up today.”
Daytona International Speedway, Florida
- NASCAR: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
- Supercross: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.