After kicking off the first half of the season with three wins, Kyle Busch and his No. 18 team have been having a summer to forget, with finishes of 30th or worse in the three races prior to Sunday’s race at Michigan. Unfortunately for Busch, the summer slump would continue in the FireKeepers Casino 400.
Starting ninth, Busch started having handling issues and made note that something was going on with his engine almost immediately. As Busch started dropping back just prior to lap 53, it was evident that something was amiss with his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and sure enough the engine let go down the backstretch on lap 53, with flames shooting out from underneath the car. The flames went out and Busch was able to limp his car back to the garage, but his day would be done.
The sub-30th place finish was not only his fourth straight race with a disappointing finish, it also extends a bad luck streak for Busch at Michigan, where Sunday’s finish will mark five out of the last six races where he has finished 31st or worse.
“At least I had a 30 lap warning, that it was coming. It had just been shaking really bad and going south for a while and had been building its own heat. So, just unfortunate, not just today, but the last four races have been really, really bad. It’s a good thing we started off the season as good as we did, we had a lot of top-five’s and we had three wins, so it’s got us a good start and a good foundation, but we’ve got to get this luck turned around and going in the right direction and get ourselves back to where feel like we need to be, finishing wise. I mean, our cars are fast. Adam and the guys have done a great job each and every week, TRD power has been great, it’s just unfortunate circumstances have been coming our way a lot lately,” said Busch.