Busch Bounces Back In Chicago For Critical Top 10


Kyle Busch leads a pack of cars at the Chicago Street Course. (HHP/Jacy Norgaard photo)

CHICAGO - Kyle Busch snapped his streak of rough performances with a ninth-place finish in a topsy-turvy Grant Park 165 Sunday on the Chicago Street Course.

Busch, a surefire NASCAR Hall of Famer who boasts two NASCAR Cup Series championships, has suffered a bit of a sophomore slump in his second year at Richard Childress Racing.

After a three-win season last year, hopes were high for the Las Vegas native going into his 21st season at NASCAR’s premier level.

However, 21 races in, Busch has looked like a shell of his former self, with just two top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He is also seeking a record-extending 20th straight year with a Cup Series victory.

After four DNFs in five races, Busch regained some footing with his solid effort in the Windy City, marking his best finish since an eighth-place showing at Kansas Speedway nine races ago.

“We had a solid finish today at the Chicago Street Race in our zone Chevrolet. Hopefully, this is the start of some positive momentum for our Richard Childress Racing team,” said Busch after the race. “It’s cool to get the finish that we deserve. Great job by (crew chief) Randall Burnett and everyone at RCR and ECR. The way the race played out, we were able to get on slicks at just the right time late in the race and passed a ton of cars.”

Busch surged in the closing laps as teams varied their tire strategies, due to a mid-race rainstorm that delayed action for an hour and 43 minutes and soaked the 2.2-mile course on the streets of downtown Chicago, Ill.

Burnett opted to put Busch on Goodyear slick (dry-weather) tires just before the end of stage two, allowing his driver to charge through traffic as the track began to develop a dry line late.

“For some reason, we really struggled on the wet tire setup. The car felt like it was on ice, so we have work to do to make that better,” Busch noted. “All in all, though, it was a good day for sure.”

Despite a light in the tunnel, the RCR No. 8 team is still at the base of the mountain when it comes to the big picture.

Their rough stretch has buried them deep in the playoff race with just six races to go in the regular season. Currently, Busch is 18th in the standings, 98 points behind the 16th-place playoff cut line.

Busch is no stranger to adversity, though, as in 2015 he was injured in a crash in the Xfinity Series opener at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway that sidelined him for the opening 11 races of that season. He ultimately rallied and earned five wins en route to his first series championship.

With a small swing in positive momentum Sunday, Busch and RCR hope to capitalize to make a stab at the 2024 title.

The NASCAR Cup Series presses on at Pocono (Penn.) Raceway on Sunday, July 14.

Coverage of the Great American Getaway 400 presented by VisitPA.com begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Newsletter Banner

Attention Drivers and Race Teams!

Do you need to rev up your brand? At Victory Lane Design, we specialize in one thing, getting you noticed!

It's time to accelerate your brand into the fast lane with Victory Lane Design.

Where Winning Counts!