Team Interstate: Kyle Rallies, Denny Shares Lead
Team Interstate experienced an up-and-down, topsy-turvy day at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Kyle Busch and his No. 18 M&M’s/Interstate Batteries team battled back from plenty of adversity, scraping the wall on two occasions and eventually falling a lap down. But he and the team fought their way back onto the lead lap with less than 50 laps to go in the AAA Texas 500 and worked their way to the front, finishing fourth.
“Our run to the front tonight there at the end was very impressive,” said Kyle, who won the April 2013 race at Texas to score his first Sprint Cup win in the Lone Star State. “We weren’t very good to start the race today. The guys did a phenomenal job getting the car fixed for me. … It’s good to continue to fight like that and bring home a top-five.”
Teammates Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth also battled through ups and downs. Denny started 20th and briefly led the race before ultimately finishing 10th. Matt started from the pole position and stayed near the front for much of the race, but a problem on a lap 253 pit stop left him mired in 18th. Several cautions later found him up front and later back in the field thanks to the varying pit strategies of his competitors. He finished 25th.
Jimmie Johnson won the race. The AAA Texas 500 was the second of three races in the Eliminator Round of 8 under the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship format. Since Jimmie is no longer Chase eligible, at least three of the final four spots for the Championship round in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be decided by points.
Denny is currently tied for lead in points with the 22 team, while Matt is fifth, but just one point out of the fourth and final position heading into next week’s race at Phoenix.
Kyle’s win was the 100th victory for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Read more
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