By David Morgan, Associate Editor
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – “We’re winning the fucking 500.”
There is certainly no lack of confidence in Kyle Busch and the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing team heading into Sunday’s 65th running of the Daytona 500.
After a highly publicized move to RCR and Chevrolet over the offseason, the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion could be in his best position yet to finally add a win in the Great American Race to his already impressive resume.
RCR is no stranger to success on the superspeedways and specifically at Daytona, with Busch’s new teammate Austin Dillon having won at the track last August and in the Daytona 500 back in 2018.
Busch has wasted no time in putting his new resources to good use, running up front in Thursday night’s Bluegreen Vacations Duels before an errant bump from Daniel Suarez sent him into the wall, with the ensuing damage to his primary car forcing him to a backup.
Despite the setback, immediately after Busch’s car came to a stop following the crash, radio communications between driver and team insinuated that there was no change in the team’s confidence level for the remainder of the weekend.
Over the course of his career, Busch has had a few close encounters with a win in NASCAR’s biggest race, with his best result being a runner-up finish back in 2019 behind then teammate Denny Hamlin.
Even though he has yet to be able to hoist the Harley J. Earl trophy, Busch remains positive that he will be able to get there at some point and hopes that his change in scenery and new home at RCR will be the kickstart he needs to accomplish just that.
“You just come in here and treat it as if it’s any other race,” Busch said of his outlook for the 500 earlier in the week. “There is great opportunity to be able to win the race and if you put yourself in the right spot, you can. It’s just not happened yet for me. So, it’s obviously a difficult race to win.
“There’s a lot of different winners. Some guys, this is the only race they ever win. Other guys, they win it two or three times over again. It’s the Super Bowl of our sport and it’s hard to accomplish this one.
“It’s a race where you rely on a lot of different factors than you do just yourself. You go to a race track like California, or the old Atlanta, and places like that…it’s a lot more driver that is involved in how you are and what your destiny will be. Where here, a lot of your result can be in the hands of the other driver around you and the circumstances around you. That’s just the nature of it, but you know, we all have the same race to go out there and run in.
“As far as being positive about it, yeah, I would be positive about it. Having a new fresh look and outlook with my new team, and being with the No. 8, its exciting for me anyways. So, I would love nothing more than to win the Daytona 500 with RCR, Chevrolet, 3CHI and everybody to really put an exclamation point on the offseason and what this year will hopefully bring.”
Busch will have his work cut out for him on Sunday, rolling off from deep in the pack in a backup car, but as the Daytona 500 has shown time and time again, anything is possible.
Add in the Las Vegas native’s fire and tenacity behind the wheel and this might just be his year.
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