Another day, another dominating performance, and another disappointing finish.
This seems to be the maxim describing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch‘s performance this season. In fact, this entire weekend, while not being as terrible as most of his weeks have been recently, was still a disappointment as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, then lost the Nationwide Series race on a pitstop mistake, and finally dominated the Fed-Ex 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks before Jimmie Johnson made his way to the front.
To begin the race, Busch started off in a great position in third and marched to the lead after fellow teammate Denny Hamlin led a little over 20 laps. From there, he dominated for a long stretch of the race and for a time, it seemed like his only real opponent would be new teammate Matt Kenseth. In fact, for a time, it looked like Busch might be able to lap Jimmie Johnson, but then a lucky debris caution flew to save the five-time champion.
Then, a Toyota engine failed once again to blow the chances of Kenseth, who has been running extremely well with his new team. While Busch may not have had a worthwhile opponent in Kenseth anymore, Johnson was quickly making his way through the pack and would force Busch to surrender the lead.
At one point, Busch fell back to the end of the top-10, but made his way back up and in the last 20 laps to secured a solid position to finish fourth place.
The weekend wasn’t the glorious sweep Rowdy was hoping for, but championships aren’t only founded on wins. As a driver, you also need to pull out solid finishes even when disappointment rears its ugly head.
This disappointment solidifies Busch’s position in the standings to a batter one than it was at the end of last week’s Coca-Cola 600, where he and reigning champion Brad Keselowski teetered on the edge of falling out of the top 10 guaranteed Chase spots.