By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
“I certainly gave Joe his money’s worth today,” Kyle Busch exclaimed after the checkered flag flew Sunday at Watkins Glen.
Chase Elliott may have come away as the winner in Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen, but if there were another driver that deserved some accolades after the checkered flag flew, it was Busch.
Leading 31 laps on the day, Busch looked to be one of the drivers to beat along with Elliott and Martin Truex, Jr., but a late race round of pit stops changed everything for the No. 18 team.
After a pit road miscue on lap 56 that left his Toyota without a full tank of fuel, Busch dropped from the lead to 31st when he had to make a second trip down pit road to correct the mistake.
In true Kyle Busch fashion, he put on a driving clinic over the remaining laps of the race, slicing and dicing his way through the field as the laps wound down. Ten laps after having to make his return trip to pit road, he had cracked the top-10, but he was far from being done.
Even though his chances at a win were out the door unless a caution flew or Elliott and Truex took each other out, Busch climbed as high as he could by the time the checkered flag flew, coming across the line in third-place.
“Every year we come here, we have a fast car and fail to execute, whether that’s just called bad luck or whatever,” Busch said. “Last year we had a lug nut get stuck in the caliper, this year we had fueling problems. It never ceases to amaze me. Nothing surprises me anymore.
“I thought we were as good as the 9 there that time that he got a run on me, I let him go and then he drove away from me surprisingly. Then on the next restart, I had enough to hold him off, so I felt like we were equal to him if not maybe a tick better than him, but doesn’t matter. We had to restart in the back and drove our ass off with no cautions all the way up to third.”
With his heroic drive through the field, Busch keeps a stranglehold on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points lead with just four races remaining in the regular season, holding a 70 point advantage over Kevin Harvick.