Kyle Busch Finishes 3.094 Seconds from Goal

Jackson Wheeler
10 Min Read


Kyle Busch knew the stakes when he entered Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Only a victory would keep him in the Playoffs.

Busch ended the 109-lap race 3.094 seconds short of his goal, having to settle for third behind winner A.J. Allmendinger in the race that ultimately cut the NASCAR Cup Playoffs field from 12 to 8.

“The bigger defining factor of the last two weeks is the last two weeks, not scoring enough points,” says Busch, who finished 34th at Texas and 25th at Talladega. “That’s on me. Just not doing a good job at Texas when we did have a good car.

“It’s gonna be a lot bittersweet when we win in Vegas next week … but it’s a good building block for our program. My first year over here (at Richard Childress Racing) I don’t know if I expected the Round of 8. I guess I did.”

With 57 laps remaining, it appeared Busch might achieve his objective. He led at the time and after making his final pit stop on lap 70, he returned to the top five. Busch, a restart master, challenged for the lead through five restarts in the final 30 laps.

“The 54 (Ty Gibbs) cut me some breaks there the last three or four laps. I was getting sloppy,” Busch says. “The car was coming out of the race track and just getting challenging to drive. Just not the feel I’m looking for in the long runs of these tires wearing out.”

Busch lined up second on the final restart that came with 10 laps remaining. Leader Allmendinger was on the outside while Busch was on the inside. Allmendinger bumped Busch just as they took off and second-place William Byron zipped past the RCR driver.

“Coming through the chicane right there on the frontstretch, the inside lane is at a severe disadvantage because the right lane can hold you tight and make you ramp that turtle over there,” Busch says. “It just totally upsets the car and throws the car. I don’t know if I agree with where it’s at (restart zone). Honestly, I liked it on the frontstretch better and maybe moved a little closer to turn one so we’re not going faster than we would normally go at race pace.”

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Kyle Larson rode Plan B into the Round of 12 finale.

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Larson Drives Backup Car Into Round of 8

For Kyle Larson, the Bank of America Roval 400 weekend didn’t begin as he had envisioned.

In Saturday’s lone practice session Larson crashed his Chevrolet, slamming Charlotte Motor Speedway’s outside wall as he transitioned from the road course’s infield section onto the 1.5-mile oval. His team loaded the car onto a truck and transported it to the Hendrick Motorsports shop within five miles of the track. They returned with a backup.

Throughout the race Larson and regular season champion Martin Truex Jr. had to be concerned with a driver below the cutline winning and others trying to point their way in.

“It was a stressful weekend,” Larson admitted after finishing 13th. “We were just pretty conservative that at times. I just didn’t want to make a mistake like I did last year and take ourselves completely out of it.”

In the end, it was the points Truex received for winning the regular season championship that allowed him to advance. In the playoffs’ first six races, Truex has had finishes of 18th, 36th, 19th, 17th, 18th and 20thin Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400.

“I didn’t create the system. We used it to our advantage,” Truex says. “That won’t get us through the next one (round). The next one, you’ve got to be running up front. Two winners of the next three races are probably going to be playoff guys that are still going.”

Truex says the fact the points will now be reset is the “beauty and the thing that sucks about this deal.”

“They outran us enough to get in, but they didn’t have the bonus points,” Truex says.

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Kevin Harvick is playing out the string in his final season as a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Cup Series.

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Outgoing Racer Harvick Like Look of ’24 Schedule

With Kevin Harvick less than a month away from stepping out of his race car and into the TV booth as a full-time analyst, the California native possesses a different view of the 2024 NASCAR Cup schedule.

“I like the fact that they keep mixing it up,” Harvick says. “I like the fact that the rounds are different. I like the fact that the race tracks are different.”

Harvick gives the addition of Iowa a favorable nod because it’s another short track and “just a unique facility.”

In other changes for 2024, the Indianapolis race bids farewell to the road course as does Bristol to the dirt. Atlanta replaces Texas in the playoffs and opens the first round that also consists of Watkins Glen, which makes its debut in the playoffs. The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway ends the regular season, while the spring Atlanta race moves from March to February, following the Daytona 500.

“I don’t like things being the same,” Harvick says.

With two of the playoff’s 10 races being road courses and two superspeedway races, Harvick notes four of the 10 are on non-traditional ovals or short tracks.

“I love the fact that they keep mixing it up,” Harvick says. “I like change.”

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AJ Allmendinger’s win at Charlotte on Sunday helped end the Playoff hopes of four drivers who were eliminated from contention.

Jared C. Tilton//Getty Images

Results

NASCAR Cup Series Race – Bank of America ROVAL 400

Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course

1. (6) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 109.

2. (14) William Byron (P), Chevrolet, 109.

3. (5) Kyle Busch (P), Chevrolet, 109.

4. (10) Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 109.

5. (7) Joey Logano, Ford, 109.

6. (1) Tyler Reddick (P), Toyota, 109.

7. (20) Chris Buescher (P), Ford, 109.

8. (16) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 109.

9. (8) Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 109.

10. (12) Ross Chastain (P), Chevrolet, 109.

11. (18) Ryan Preece, Ford, 109.

12. (17) Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 109.

13. (36) Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 109.

14. (15) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 109.

15. (2) Christopher Bell (P), Toyota, 109.

16. (4) Bubba Wallace (P), Toyota, 109.

17. (24) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 109.

18. (19) Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 109.

19. (22) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 109.

20. (11) Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 109.

21. (21) Aric Almirola, Ford, 109.

22. (25) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 109.

23. (32) Todd Gilliland, Ford, 109.

24. (31) Harrison Burton, Ford, 109.

25. (29) Austin Cindric, Ford, 109.

26. (28) Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, 109.

27. (33) Austin Hill(i), Chevrolet, 109.

28. (30) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 109.

29. (26) Mike Rockenfeller, Chevrolet, 109.

30. (34) Zane Smith(i), Ford, 109.

31. (37) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 109.

32. (13) Michael McDowell, Ford, 109.

33. (3) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 109.

34. (27) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, Electrical, 96.

35. (35) Andy Lally(i), Ford, Accident, 84.

36. (23) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, Accident, 79.

37. (9) Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, DVP, 76.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 81.596 mph.

Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 5 Mins, 57 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.666 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 7 for 18 laps.

Lead Changes: 7 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: T. Reddick (P) 1-27;C. Bell (P) 28-35;C. Elliott (P) 36-50;C. Bell (P) 51;K. Busch (P) 52-57;A. Allmendinger 58-70;R. Blaney (P) 71-76;A. Allmendinger 77-109.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): AJ Allmendinger 2 times for 46 laps; Tyler Reddick (P) 1 time for 27 laps; Chase Elliott (P) 1 time for 15 laps; Christopher Bell (P) 2 times for 9 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 1 time for 6 laps; Ryan Blaney (P) 1 time for 6 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 45,23,1,19,20,99,9,8,54,16

Stage #2 Top Ten: 9,20,11,45,5,1,23,19,34,8

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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