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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

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  Debate

Debate

Can Kyle Busch turn RCR's season around, or is it too late for a comeback?

Kyle Busch and the No. 8 RCR team have not fired off since the start of the 2024 Cup Series season. In the initial days, disjointed team efforts and mistakes hampered Rowdy’s run. However, recently they have been struck by a streak of bad results, and it looks like they just can’t seem to catch a good break.

Even for the most optimistic Kyle Busch fans, it is hard to see him make the playoffs given his recent run of performances. However, his crew chief, Randall Burnett, hasn’t lost hope. All Busch needs is one big result, and that is exactly what Burnett is banking on. Moreover, he also highlighted the racetracks where they are expected to run well and hopefully churn out solid results.

The #8 RCR team feels there’s light at the end of the tunnel, despite their recent woes

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With just seven races left in the regular season, the race to make it into the playoffs is heating up. So far, a total of 11 drivers have already secured their spots, so just five spots are now available for drivers like Busch to secure their qualification. Although the #8 RCR Chevy has had its fair share of troubles, all they need to do is focus on the stretch of races in front of them. And this is exactly the message Randall Burnett had for his team.

“I think we got some good tracks coming up. Chicago’s gonna be a crapshoot for sure, you never know what you’re gonna get there. Pocono and Indy are really strong tracks for Kyle, and we’ve been really fast with the 8 car there the last couple of years. At least at Pocono, we were really good … Michigan, we’re really strong. Daytona, Darlington, so I think there’s plenty of opportunities for the 8-zone Chevy to get into the playoffs,” he said in an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

He also highlighted that a return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race is where they could capitalize on the back of the tire test. This will be the first NASCAR Cup race at the iconic race track with the Next-Gen car. “Indy will be a new one going back to the oval with this car. It will be a new deal for everybody. We were fortunate enough to go do the tire test up there. So we got a good starting point there, and we got a lot of races to look forward to.”

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However, they aren’t the only team in the hunt for playoff spots. The likes of Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe, and Josh Berry are in a similar position. And a win by any of them or the driver below the pecking order could prove detrimental to his chances.

The playoff battle could swing either way

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Now Kyle Busch needs to overcome the points difference of 104 or grab a win to his name. A victory would be a better option, considering that a win by either of the drivers looking to seal their playoff spots could wash away hopes for a late comeback for Busch and his team. And his crew chief is very much aware of this possibility.

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“It’s going to be hard. You have to have a lot things go your way to make up those 104 points. You know, that’s a short amount of time to make up on just one car, but several cars in between you and also somebody else winning the race outside of that playoff bubble already … We just gotta execute and make sure we don’t have any mistakes and put some fast cars out there for Kyle to get the job done,” Burnett added.

It’s just hard to imagine that a driver of Kyle Busch’s caliber could miss out on making it to the knockout stages of the NASCAR Cup Series. Even if they managed to pull through and stage a late comeback, it does not hide the shortcomings and cracks within the RCR’s racing program.