Kyle Busch looked uncomfortable with a lack of rear grip earlier in Stage 1 which saw him fall outside the Top 10.
But, a strategy pit call & adjustments with guidance from the No.18 crew in the lead up towards Stage 2 helped Ky. Busch recovers to close off a respectable finish at Sonoma.
Kyle Busch started off from the 9th spot where he remained battling in the Top 10.
However, before he made his first stop before the end of Stage 1, Ky. Busch reported to team radio regarding a lack of rear grip.
It costed him from further challenging the frontrunners down in 15th ahead of his team-mate Daniel Suarez.
So the No.18 crew swapped for four new tires & an air pressure adjustment to see what the car reacts as the race goes on.
In response, Kyle Busch gave the thumbs up where he bounced back in the Top 10.
He also remained quiet for the rest of the race before coming home in 5th place.
Toyota/Save Smart 350 Loop Data Statistics
- Start: 9th
- Middle & Finish: 5th
- Highest Position: 4th
- Lowest Run: 29th
- Average Spot: 9th
- Pass Difference: -33
- Green Flag Passes: 64, Times Passed: 97
- Quality Passes: 27, 42.2%
- Fastest Laps: Three
- Top 15 Laps: 97, 88.2%
- Total Laps: 110
- Driver Rating: 106.5
Kyle Busch’s Sonoma Raceway Cup Record Summary
- 14 Starts
- 1499 of 1547 Laps Completed, 96.9%
- 110 Laps Led
- Highest Starting Spot: 2nd, 2009
- Best Finish: 1st, 2008 & 2015
- Two Wins, 14.3%
- Four Top 5, 28.6%
- Six Top 10, 42.9%
- Average Start: 14.4 & Finish: 16.2
- DNF: Zero
- Average Driver Rating: 91.9
His 2018 Season So Far.
- 16 Starts
- 4569 of 4705 Laps Completed, 97.1%
- 888 Laps Led
- Four Wins, 25%
- 11 Top 5, 68.8%
- 13 Top 10, 81.2%
- Average Start: 7.6 & Finish: 7.2
- DNF: One, Drivetrain (Dover).
- He currently leads the Drivers’ Standings with 696 Points.
- 25th, Daytona 500
- 7th, Atlanta
- 2nd, Las Vegas & Phoenix
- 3rd, Fontana
- 2nd, Martinsville
- 1st, Texas, Bristol & Richmond
- 13th, Talladega
- 35th, Dover
- 10th, Kansas
- 1st, Charlotte
- 3rd, Pocono
- 4th, Michigan
- 5th, Sonoma
Kyle Busch’s Chicagoland Speedway Cup Record
He made 13 starts at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in Joliet, Illinois since 2005.
The first of Ky. Busch’s three stints come from Hendrick Motorsports.
His Cup debut at this track may have ended up in 14th.
However, the following year, Ky. Busch posted his first ever Top 5/10 Chicagoland finish in 3rd.
Though in 2007, his third & final Hendrick start didn’t end well in 13th.
When Ky. Busch moved to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008, his fresh start to a new team has gone even better.
From start to finish, he took both the pole award & the race win having led a whopping 165 laps ahead of everyone at that time.
That’s the one & only time Ky. Busch got to victory lane in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Chicagoland.
Since his 2008 win, Ky. Busch hasn’t won at this tri-oval in the space of nine years.
His 2009 stint ended up in an engine failure followed by two disappointing finishes outside the Top 10.
- 17th, 2010
- 22nd, 2011 with one lap down
Over the next five years, he always consistently finished inside the Top 10 as well as picking up back to back Top 5s in 2012-13.
- 4th, 2012
- 2nd, 2013
- 7th, 2014
- 9th, 2015
- 8th, 2016
During his recent appearance in September 2017, Ky. Busch may open the race with back to back Chicagoland Pole Awards.
But he rounded out the finish line in 15th spot with a lap down.
- 13 Starts
- 3465 of 3477 Laps Completed, 99.7%
- 517 Laps Led
- One Win, 7.7%
- Four Top 5, 30.8%
- Seven Top 10, 53.8%
- Average Start: 11.4 & Finish: 11.4
- DNF: One, Engine (2009).
- Average Driver Rating: 107.3
Kyle Busch may be disappointed where the car’s lack of rear grip didn’t enable him to follow up Truex, Bowyer & Harvick.
But, he praised the No.18 crew’s hard work where his stop before Stage 1 ended saw a massive recovery back in the Top 10.
He didn’t complain at all about the No.18 Toyota Camry for the rest of the race.
All Ky. Busch did remain calm & cross the checkered flag inside the Top 5.
It’s just over a month that Kyle Busch hasn’t won a race since his famous win during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
For now, he & the No.18 crew will look at the pros & cons back at the Joe Gibbs Racing camp before chasing his fifth win of 2018 this Sunday.
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Image and Statistics: Racing Reference
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