Rowdy Trifecta

Yeah I know…I used Rowdy for last week’s headline too, but when the same guy wins three races in a row you start running out of ideas.

So Kyle Busch becomes the second driver this season to win three straight races. And we’re just NINE RACES IN.

Here’s what is so impressive about Busch’s streak. He didn’t have the best car in any of the three races. At Texas, Kevin Harvick dominated early but penalties undid his day. Kyle Larson led the most laps at Bristol, but fell victim to the bump and run. And Saturday at Richmond, Busch blazed through the field after starting 32nd but had a top five car at best. Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and Harvick arguably all had stronger cars.

But while Truex, Bowyer, Harvick and others beat themselves, Busch stayed consistent all race long. When it counted, the No. 18 crew got Kyle off pit road first and he did the rest. Busch has been great, but a lot of credit must go to his team. Right now, Adam Stevens and company are the standard.

Other Random Thoughts…

-Did anyone else notice the reaction from the crowd after Busch won? Far fewer boos than normal. He even went into the stands! That’s telling when you consider how reviled he is at Richmond. Maybe Busch gained some fans following his appearance on Dale Jr.’s podcast. Or maybe…just maybe fans are starting to appreciate Busch for the talent that he is.

-It was wild to see how many of the frontrunners knocked themselves out of contention. Truex and Bowyer both had poor pit stops in the final laps. Kurt Busch’s strong run was hampered by a poor green flag pit stop when Daniel Suarez ran over the team’s air hose. It’s just another reminder of how small the margin of error is at the Cup level.

-Matt DiBenedetto continues to overachieve. He finished 16th in a race with little to no attrition and without the benefit of a timely caution or any other stroke of good fortune. The guy simply outran teams with, as Matt described on Twitter, “five times our budget”. DiBenedetto’s worst finish in the last three races is 21st at Bristol. And Talladega is next.

-Speaking of Talladega, I’m really looking forward to the all-drivers telecast for the Xfinity race. I thought it was a great concept when FOX did it last year at Pocono. They one-upped themselves this year with Talladega and it should be a blast.

Thanks for reading the NASCAR Fix!

-JW

 

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