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Team Interstate: Kyle Earns Fifth Top 10 in Chase

October 13th, 2014 by
Kyle Busch led early in Saturday night's race. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Kyle Busch led early in Saturday night’s race. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

A little momentum can go a long way, and it’s something Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch hopes to keep rolling for at least another five weeks as the 2014 Chase of the NASCAR Championship continues to heat up. A fifth-place finish in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway marked his fifth-straight finish of 10th or better since the Chase kicked off five weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.

Kyle, driver of the No. 18 Doublemint/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, led three times for 41 laps. He led 13 of those laps after starting from the top spot but noticed that the car was getting a little too loose. Small adjustments to the car didn’t seem to help matters, but a more aggressive adjustment during the third caution on lap 135 brought his car back to life.

Kyle Busch was all smiles during practice. He's the only Chase driver to qualify and finish in the top 10 in each Chase race this year. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Kyle Busch was all smiles during practice. He’s the only Chase driver to qualify and finish in the top 10 in each Chase race this year. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

“Little adjustments just didn’t help us tonight,” he said. “We made that one big change, and the car really took off for us. It wasn’t a win – which is what we really want – but it’s another solid finish for us. We just need to go to Talladega next week and try to avoid the ‘big one.’ ”

Kyle’s Team Interstate companions – Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry, and Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry – finished ninth and 19th, respectively. Kevin Harvick won the race.

After the race, Denny and Matt were involved in altercations with driver Brad Keselowski. Read more about it here.

With five races remaining before a champion is crowned after the season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the top-12 drivers still competing for the title rank as follows:

Rank Driver Points
 1 Joey Logano 3,088
 2 Kyle Busch 3,082 (-6)
 3 Kevin Harvick 3,081 (-7)
 4 Ryan Newman 3,077 (-1)
5 Carl Edwards 3,076 (-12)
6 Jeff Gordon 3,074 (-14)
7 Denny Hamlin 3,073 (-15)
8 Kasey Kahne 3,057 (-31)
9 Matt Kenseth 3,056 (-32)
10 Brad Keselowski 3,038 (-50)
11 Jimmie Johnson 3,031 (-57)
 12 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3,031 (-57)

 

Four drivers will be eliminated from championship contention after this week’s race at Talladega.

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Charlotte

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