Kyle Busch capped a good weekend at his home track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a third-place finish in the Pennzoil 400.
The 2021 NASCAR season has been somewhat sedate for Kyle Busch since his exhibition non-points Busch Clash triumph on the Daytona Road Course. While the search for his first win with new crew chief Ben Beshore still awaits, Busch might be satisfied with his top-five showing in both the NASCAR Truck Series race (2nd) and the Cup Series event (3rd).
Kyle Busch started 29th in the Truck race and finished fourth in Stage 1. He made a comeback and led 16 laps to win Stage 2, and then was held off by his teammate John Hunter Nemechek in Stage 3 to finish second.
Kyle Busch, the owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports, had high praise for Nemechek, his teammate and the driver of the No. 4 truck, and said that it was refreshing to see him win.
Starting 14th in the Cup race, Kyle Busch sported a special mint green paint scheme with the Ethel M chocolate logo, marking the brand's 40th anniversary. He recalled his days from childhood when he used to visit the Ethel M factory with his grandmother and offered gratitude.
"Just can’t say enough about Ethel M Chocolates, thank you, guys. It’s a pleasure to have them on board here for the first time in anything. I remember being there as a kid, a little bit anyway, I was five so it’s a little shady. Certainly, my grandmother is smiling from above so it was really special to have that on our Camry today and say thanks to Interstate Batteries, Rowdy Energy," expressed Kyle Busch.
The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing driver didn't have a great Stage 1 in the Pennzoil 400 but rallied to finish ninth in Stage 2. His third-place finish was his first top-five finish in 2021.
Speaking about his performance at the 1.5-mile home track, Kyle Busch was candid and realistic.
“We fought hard obviously. We were a little behind the eight ball at the start of the green flag and just were super, super tight all day long. Ben (Beshore, crew chief) and the guys made awesome adjustments too and I was trying to give the best feedback I can to give them good information that they can base that off on and make the good adjustments. We improved each time."
"I don’t know where we missed it so far from the simulator, but that’s two weeks in a row where we’re not apples to apples. Ready to keep working on it and keep improving. We were just a little off on pace, overall pace, overall lap time from the fast guys," Busch added.
Kyle Busch currently sits 14th in points with 98 points as the action in the Cup Series shifts to Phoenix International Raceway next weekend for the Instacart 500. Kyle Busch has three wins at Phoenix.
Kyle Busch teammates have good day at LVMS
While Hendrick Motorsports may have taken top honors, Joe Gibbs Racing also had a strong outing in the Pennzoil 400.
Kyle Busch teammates Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell all ended up finishing in the top 10. Hamlin finished fourth, Truex sixth and Bell seventh.