Kyle Busch Admits JGR is ‘Definitely Behind’ NASCAR Rivals Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske

Published 03/10/2021, 5:30 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 09: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


At the end of the NASCAR Cup race at Las Vegas, Kyle Busch emerged as the third fastest. After an admittedly sluggish start to his campaign, Busch is steadily picking up the pace. Unfortunately, he has confessed that the progress is not fast enough for his liking. As per Busch’s own admission, Hendrick Motorsports and Penske have surged ahead.

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He said, “I mean, certainly the Hendrick guys have come to play. They were really fast here last year with Chase. I thought Chase was fast early in the race. I never saw the front, so I don’t know. I think I seen him up there.”

As a result, the #5 of Kyle Larson was able to emerge triumphant. This only goes to prove that the Hendrick Motorsports team is pretty quick, something that Ryan Blaney also noticed.

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What else did Kyle Busch say?

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver also observed how the #2 car of Brad Keselowski was running up front. Kyle Busch acknowledged that Keselowski was fast all day. Moving onto the other two Penske cars, he noted that the #22 was not as quick, and the same could be said of the #12 car.

“Yeah, I mean, we as JGR, we are definitely a little bit behind. We’ll continue to try to work on that and get better. But as the perception seems to be, Hendrick and Penske are certainly ahead of us, yes,” Busch added.

Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily for Blaney, he managed to fare a little better than Joey Logano’s #22 car. However, Kyle Busch shifted the conversation back to his own team, and his assessment was not very positive. The 35-year-old noted that the Joe Gibbs Racing team is a little bit behind the rest of the pack.

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Obviously, Busch insisted that he and the team will continue working around their issues. Unfortunately, he cannot expect an instant miracle and suddenly start winning races. For the moment, it appears that Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske hold the advantage.

Despite this, Kyle Busch and his Joe Gibbs teammates will not give up. Christopher Bell has already proven that the team is capable of winning. So the onus is now on Busch and his teammates to step up and give Hendrick and Penske a fight.

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Dhruv George

11636 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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