KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kansas Speedway may define Kyle Busch's championship hopes yet again. And it had nothing to do with any revenge from Brad Keselowski.
Busch crashed out of Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 for the third straight Kansas race on lap 201 when he violently hit the wall after contact following a restart.
"I have no idea what happened on (the crash that ended his race), all I know is that we’re in Kansas, right?" a stone faced Busch remarked rhetorically after the race.
He then added later, "That's what we do here, we just crash."
Yes, the track has tormented Busch and Sunday's race was run under cool conditions with Goodyear's new multi-zone tire, a tire that didn't provide drivers much grip on the super smooth tri-oval. Predictably, Busch was less than pleased after his crash.
"The race track is the worst race track I've ever driven on. The tires are the worst tires I've ever driven on and track position is everything," Busch said. "You can't do anything unless you're out front. You get back in traffic -- Kevin Harvick couldn't pass me -- he led the first 80 laps of the race, so I'd say it was pretty pathetic."
Busch was back in traffic on that restart after he spun off the front bumper of Juan Pablo Montoya 13 laps earlier. It was an incident similar to the one that Busch had with Keselowski in Saturday's Nationwide race, yet Busch was in the opposite position.
With Montoya on his left rear quarterpanel, the duo dove towards the white line and the apron of the Kansas trioval. When they got there, there was no room between the two and Busch went spinning. That was addressed with another question.
“I don’t just spin out down the front straightway on my own, do I?" he asked.
After Saturday's crash, Keselowski pledged revenge, even going so far as to ask in Sunday's Sprint Cup drivers' meeting what the line was between driving 100 percent and intentionally wrecking someone was. But the two drivers weren't in the same zip code at any point after Busch started at the back of the pack because of a practice crash Saturday and then a spin on lap one after Danica Patrick and David Reutimann crashed in front of him.
Busch entered the race at Kansas 18 points behind teammate and points leader Matt Kenseth in third place. He's now fifth, 35 points back, though that's a number that could have been considerably larger if it wasn't for late race issues for Kenseth and Johnson. Busch isn't out of it. Yet. Perhaps a fair assessment will be after the next two races when there's been ample opportunity to assess the No. 18's reaction to what must feel like Groundhog Day.
"We'll just have to keep doing what we've done and getting us to this pont all year long and that's been consistency," Busch said. "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."