Currently, Busch sits in the fifth place, only 35 points behind teammate and leader Matt Kenseth. While that is not an insurmountable lead by any means, the writing is on the wall for another fall Busch collapse. While Kenseth had an off day, he placed 12th, Busch had an off day as well, which was a 34th place finish.
As Dave Moody points out in his blog Busch has fallen apart in 2008 and 2011 after coming into the Chase as the leader in points. This year he sought (and appeared) to be re-writing his history by finishing second in the first two events and finished fifth the week prior at Dover.
This weekend the hits came early and often for Busch. He crashed in practice, spun during the first lap, spun after contact with Juan Pablo Montoya on lap 188, and finally totaled his Camry on lap 201. Never mind the off track issues that saw his Joe Gibbs Racing team fly in a new transmission for his car late Saturday and was the last car through tech on Sunday.
It’s interesting that with the resources and experience of Joe Gibbs Racing, Busch seems to hit a wall when it comes to the final 10 races of the year. Busch is still focus in on the championship and ready to write this off as a case of Kansas Speedway getting the best of him again.
“I have no idea what happened on the last one. All I know is we’re in Kansas — right? We’ll just have to work hard. We’ll just have to keep doing what we’ve done and getting us to this point all year long and that’s been consistency. And every other track except Kansas seems to be able to bode well for us, so we’ll see what happens and if it doesn’t happen — then it doesn’t happen. It wasn’t meant to be,” Busch told reporters after exiting his car.
Busch and his team will be back at it this weekend in the Bank Of America 500 from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The action gets underway Saturday at 7:30 PM EST and can be seen on ABC.