By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Throughout the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch has been a man on a mission, winning both the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races, with a chance at the weekend sweep in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event.
Unfortunately for Busch, late race contact with the Turn 2 wall while leading the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 would be the speed bump that would keep him from making it back to back spring race wins in the Lone Star State. The 2015 series champion would have to settle for a 10th place finish on the day instead.
“It just broke loose,” Busch said of the incident. “I kind of felt it getting a little bit freer as we were going there, and you’re still trying to hustle as hard as you can and get all you can through the corners in order to keep your lap time going…and it just busted loose on me, and I had to catch it and make sure we didn’t crash.
“First and foremost, we did that, and then I got back inline and got rolling and started gaining back on those guys in front of us, but the looseness was still there, and then I had to chase it on exit of (turn) two one time behind the 10 (Aric Almirola) and just knocked the fence down.
“I hate it for my guys. We made an adjustment there to tighten it up going into that run, and we got looser. Just something to learn from there. Overall, thanks to Interstate Batteries and M&M’s. We’ll get them next week.”
The trouble for Busch, who had led six different times for 66 laps, began on lap 275 when his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota broke loose on Turn 2 while leading, causing him to slide up the track and drop back to fourth in the running order.
Things only got worse a handful of laps later when his car slapped the outside wall while in traffic, forcing him to pit road for repairs under green, which caused him to fall a lap down to the leaders at the time.
With the remainder of the race running caution-free to the finish and the leaders still needing to make their final pit stop, Busch was able to cycle back into the top-10 to salvage a decent finish out of the day that could have ended much worse.
Busch is the only driver to be able to pull off the weekend sweep, which he has done twice at Bristol. Sunday marked the third time Busch has tried to achieve the sweep at Texas only to fall short of his goal.