By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
LAS VEGAS – Kyle Busch made the move of the race to get the lead in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but a huge vibration in the right front of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota hurt his winning chances in the closing laps.
From the sixth position on a restart on Lap 224 of 267, Busch took Jimmie Johnson and eventual race winner Brad Keselowski three-wide into Turn 1, climbed to third place off Turn 2 and roared past both Keselowski and Joey Logano into Turn 3.
Busch held the top spot until Keselowski passed him for the lead on Lap 262, as the vibration got progressively worse.
“Huge vibration, I don’t know,” said Busch, who lost three spots in the final five laps and finished fourth but retained the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series lead. “I had a vibration when they put the rights (right-side tires) on, and then it just kept getting worse and worse, and there at the end I didn’t know if the tire was coming apart or what the deal was.
“I was trying to give it everything I had, and it just would not turn. It got so tight… that was the tightest we were all day. Ran my track bar up two inches and it didn’t do anything. Definitely something wrong, but can’t say enough about this whole team. They did a great job and prepared a good car. We struggled really, really bad all weekend, we were horrible (in practice and qualifying).
“That’s not at all where we should have finished considering how it started. It was a good day. It wasn’t a win, but we were doing a good job doing what we need to do to keep top-fiving it — and the wins will come.”
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