Busch had just enough fuel to finish
HUNTERSVILLE – Kyle Busch gambled and it paid off.
Busch, driving the No. 18 Toyota for Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing, had to make a late decision on whether to pit for fuel in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13. He opted to stay on the track and had just enough fuel to finish second.
Busch gained two spots in the final two laps as other cars in front of him pitted or ran out of fuel. It was his eighth top-10 Sprint Cup finish this season.
“I never really know how close we are on fuel, so that’s probably a good thing I didn’t know exactly how much fuel we had left,” Busch said. “(Crew chief) Dave (Rogers) asked me, `Man, we’re close, what do you want to do here? Do you want to gamble and stay out?’ And I was like, ‘Might as well.’
Busch, who lives in Denver, has had success in all three NASCAR formats this season. He has finished in the top 10 in the past four Sprint Cup races, including a victory at Kentucky. Busch is in eighth place in the Sprint Cup driver points standings.
He’s dominated the Nationwide series with three victories. In 14 races, he’s finished in the top four 13 times. Busch is perfect in the truck series – five victories in five starts.
Kenseth hits a milestone
HUNTERSVILLE – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Matt Kenseth made his 275th NASCAR Nationwide Series career start at New Hampshire last weekend. He’s 25th on the all-time NNS list. Kenseth made his series debut in 1996 for car owner Carl Wagner at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In Kenseth’s 18 years of competing in the NNS, he has 28 wins, 129 top fives, 190 top 10s and 16 Coors Light poles.
Crash had Logano fuming
HUNTERSVILLE – Joey Logano, at 24 one of Sprint Cup’s youngest drivers, wasn’t pleased that Morgan Shepherd, at age 72 NASCAR’s oldest driver, crashed him in last weekend’s race in New Hampshire. Shepherd, 14 laps down at the time, lost control and spun into Logano, who was in second place.
“The slowest car on the racetrack took us out," Logano said a television interview. “Go figure. If you can't control your stuff, don't even be out there. If you're 10 laps down, what are you doing? Whatever. It is what it is.”
We rank Herald Weekly-area drivers in the racing world:
1. Kyle Busch – A double bridesmaid’s weekend at New Hampshire, which is a good thing – second in the Nationwide race and second in the Sprint Cup event on consecutive days.
2. Matt Kenseth – Climbed to fourth place in the Sprint Cup driver points standings after a fourth-place finish last week. Also finished third in the Nationwide race.
3. Kyle Larson – A rookie who doesn’t drive like one. Finished third in Sprint Cup race and fourth in the Nationwide event.
4. Clint Bowyer – Sixth-place finish in the Sprint Cup race last week makes it back-to-back Top 10 finishes. He’s surging and could make a late run at a playoff position.
5. Ryan Blaney – Finished second in the truck series race last week. He has five top-five finishes in nine races this season.