Kyle Busch passed 22 cars over the final 32 laps of Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen.
Busch was the leader when the final caution of the race came out for Matt DiBenedetto’s smoking car. He exited the pits with the lead but didn’t keep it for long. The team had a problem with the fuel can on the stop and Busch’s car didn’t get full of fuel.
Rather than wait to pit later, Busch pitted during the caution so that he could make it to the end of the race. That paid off as he sliced and diced his way through the field.
“Yeah, it’s great,” Busch said. It was hard not to feel some sarcasm in his voice. “I had a fast race car and did a good job behind the wheel I guess. It doesn’t show anything for the result that we wanted to get. Two years in a row here, we had pit road miscues and guess it’s just called bad luck. It’s kind of frustrating when you know you come here every year with a vengeance to go out here and win this race and you’re the fastest car and you’re arguably the fastest car or arguably the fastest guy and not able to perform or execute I should say.”
Busch has not had a tortured history at Watkins Glen. He won at the track in 2008 and 2013 and has finished in the top seven in each of the last four races. But we understand his frustration on Sunday. He had a car capable of racing with Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. for the race lead. He led 31 of the race’s 90 laps. He just didn’t have a chance to race for the win.
Busch won a week ago at Pocono and a win on Sunday would have been his seventh of the season. He said he had the pace to run with Elliott and a three-way battle for the lead over the closing laps would have been even more intriguing than the two-car battle was. Alas, by the time Busch made it to third he wasn’t even close to the two cars ahead of hi.
“I thought we were as good as the 9 there that time that he got a run on me, I let him go and then he drove away from me surprisingly,” Elliott said. “Then on the next restart, I had enough to hold him off, so I felt like we were equal to him if not maybe a tick better than him, but doesn’t matter. We had to restart in the back and drove our ass off with no cautions all the way up to third.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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