Kyle Busch blames Joey Logano for blocking him in NASCAR championship race
Kyle Busch was unable to capture his second NASCAR Cup Series championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway after a bold strategy and tough love didn't play in his favor.
Kyle Larson dominated the Ford EcoBoost 400 title race early, leading 145 of the first 161 laps, but as the sun set changes to the track added grip to the track and improved speeds for Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
With just under 70 laps remaining, Truex, Harvick and Keselowski decided to pit for tires and thus extra speed, while Busch gambled to stay out in front on older tires. The one-pit strategy for Busch left Truex in the lead with 52 laps to go but a caution flag 13 laps later spoiled Busch's strategy.
Truex won the race off pit road and led the field to green with 34 to go but Busch was further back and had to battle his way to the front and one driver in particular wasn't going to let Busch drive right by him.
“Battling with the 22 (Joey Logano) there [at the end]," Busch told reporters after the race. "Just wasting too much time with him. He held me up. I was trying to get by him and just overworked everything. He was there blocking every chance he got, so got a real buddy there, but that’s racing. That’s what happens.”
With 17 laps remaining, Busch regained his momentum and trailed Truex by a second, but with 10 to go, Busch was within 0.60 seconds of the lead. As Truex's lead dwindled, he tried to change his line to keep Busch at bay. It appeared Larson bumped Busch with two laps remaining, increasing Truex's lead over Busch to 0.68 seconds at the finish.
"That’s what happens when you lose in this format, but we gave it everything we had," Busch said after the race. "We gave it our all, so congratulations to the 78 (Truex). They deserved it probably on every other race but today.
"I thought we were better. Doesn’t matter though. They were out front when it mattered the most. Just unfortunate for us that that caution came out. It kind of ruined our race strategy and we weren’t able to get back to where we needed to be and then I had to fight way to hard with some other guys trying to get back up through there, but that’s racing.”