Kyle Busch nearly pulled off a weekend sweep at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. But with five laps to go Brad Keselowski passed him for the lead, and Busch ended up finishing fourth. Despite winning Saturday’s XFINITY Series race, Busch faced challenges all weekend long on the Cup side.
After a disappointing qualifying run on Friday, Kyle Busch qualified 23rd for the Kobalt 400. The speed just wasn’t there in practice either, as Busch only got up to 27th in first practice, then ran as high as 14th in the final session.
With 43 laps to go in Sunday’s race, the 2015 Sprint Cup Champion made a bold jump on the restart, moving from sixth to the lead. Kyle led a total of 38 laps in the event.
“It was just momentum,” Busch said. “Jimmie Johnson gave me enough room; he could have pinched it off, but he let me go. I got a run down the backstretch and then just drove it off into turn three.”
With 13 laps to go Kyle Busch told his crew chief, Adam Stevens, that he felt a right front vibration. On the final set of pit stops they opted to take left side tires only.
During his post-race interview, Busch talked about the tire issue.
“I had a vibration when they put the rights on and then it just kept getting worse,” he said. “I didn’t know if the tire was coming apart. I don’t know what the deal was. I was trying to give it everything I had; the car would just not turn. It got so tight; that was the tightest we were all day.”
In the final laps of the race, Busch lost positions to Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson. Despite having a rough start in practice and qualifying, a fourth place finish was strong for the No. 18.
“That’s not at all where we should have finished considering how it started,” Busch said. “I can’t say enough about this whole M&M’s Camry team. They did a great job and prepared a good car.
“It was not a win, but if we keep finishing in the top five, then the wins will come.”