Quick out of the pit gives Busch NASCAR victory
BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kyle Busch was furious when his pit crew cost him a win at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he angrily ditched his car on the race track and headed to his motorhome on foot.
A day later, he drove it to Victory Lane.
Busch bounced back from one of his many Bristol heartbreaks with a dominating win Sunday, leading 378 of 503 laps for his second Sprint Cup Series victory of the season. Ironically, it was his crew that deserved much of the credit.
His Joe Gibbs Racing team got him out front ahead of teammate Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson on the final pit stop — critical track position that helped him hang on for the win.
‘‘I told the ladies to ‘Man up, get the job done on the last stop,’ which they did,’’ Busch said. ‘‘I’m proud of them for doing that. When the time mattered most, they got the job done.’’
Many of those team members were on his crew Saturday in the Nationwide Series race, which Busch also dominated before a pit road miscue took him out of contention. He led a race-high 157 laps and went into the pits on the final stop, only to be penalized by NASCAR when his crew let a tire slip away. He wound up sixth and showed his displeasure by refusing to drive his car back to his team truck after the race.
His crew had to retrieve it themselves from Turn 3. But if there were any lingering hard feelings, no one noticed.
‘‘They appreciate what I do behind the wheel. I appreciate what they do on pit road. That’s a given in any team,’’ Busch said. ‘‘Those guys should hang their head for (Saturday), but then wake up the next morning rejuvenated and ready to go.
‘‘There’s ways to get better in this sport, and the only way to do that is to jump back out there. It’s basically reviewing your fear. You just get back out there and do it over again.’’
The win also was rewarding for Busch because he’s had so many slip away on the .533-mile bullring. Two of his near misses were last season, when he lost his power steering while leading last spring and was bumped from the front in August by Carl Edwards after leading 415 laps.