Kyle Busch Can Become Martin Truex Jr’s Nightmare as Chances of RCR Winning at Homestead Is Higher Than Ever

Published 10/22/2023, 7:31 AM EDT

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The 2-time Cup Series champion, Kyle Busch aka “Rowdy” is out for the count, eliminated from the tournament in Charlotte. However, he still proves a threat at large for his former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate. In fact, Sunday’s race in Miami is a fight for survival for the border-dwelling #19 driver, Martin Truex Jr. The driver ranked at #3 has tied up his point tally with the 4th-ranked Denny Hamlin.

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Truex Jr aced the regular season with 3 impressive wins and took home the championship. However, the playoff fray so far has been nothing but a bad dream for the 2017 Cup Series champion. With the tea going cold, Truex Jr. just cannot afford to miss the mark this time as the scene is more critical than ever. One dismal race and he’s done for the championship.

The JGR veteran needs to make the most out of his venture. He will also need to keep an eye on his former teammate, Busch, along with his #8 RCR Chevy. His competition has earned a reputation in Homestead- one that can turn Truex Jr’s bad dream into a dark nightmare.

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Martin Truex Jr’s precarious position and Kyle Busch’s shot at redemption

2023 has established itself as an unpredictable season so far, with multiple title holders exiting the tournament. Some of the prestigious names include “Rowdy” Busch, his arch-rival Joey Logano and outgoing veteran, Kevin Harvick. Much like Busch, who had a terrific start this year with RCR, racking multiple wins, his former JGR teammate Truex Jr also had success in the regular season.

However, both drivers failed to capitalize on the moment towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. In fact, the scenario is more crucial for Truex Jr if he wishes to advance and take a shot at the championship.

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However, that’s better said than done. Entering Sunday’s race, the #19 JGR Chevy will have to battle it out with the #8 RCR Chevy piloted by Busch. The 38-year-old has one up on the 42-year-old in terms of wins. While the JGR driver’s last win at the venue came in 2017, his championship-winning year, the Richard Childress Racing cars have always had an edge in the intermediate track with Tyler Reddick acing it in 2021.

Out of its 70 Cup Series starts in Miami, RCR has a total of 11 top-5 and 27 top-10 finishes with Kevin Harvick, Reddick, Ryan Newman, and Jeff Burton picking up wins. Add the ever-more furious Kyle Busch into the equation and things don’t look good for the #19 driver. Nevertheless, Truex Jr’s will have to be at his best to reach the final 4.

Watch This Story: Kyle Busch’s unexpected journey in 2023 NASCAR season 

However, the grid could prove to be a challenge for the American racer.

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Can the veteran make it past the 1.5-mile track and have a shot at the title? Well, he isn’t going without a fight. In fact, Truex Jr qualified for the race with the fastest time, which will give him a top position in the starting grid. While the top 3 cars are all Toyotas, MTJ’s return to the top is certainly a respite for fans.

With the driver posting the fastest time of 32.256 seconds, closely followed by 23XI Racing‘s Bubba Wallace, things are certainly headed for an epic showdown in Miami. The final round time will make this Truex Jr’s 2nd pole this season and 22nd in his Cup Series career. Not only did the driver get himself a head start, but his pole also got Toyota its 500th one since the Japanese manufacturer entered NASCAR back in 2004.

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Is Martin Truex Jr an Undeserving Regular Season Champion?

What do you make of the ensuing rivalry between the drivers as they aim to clinch glory? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Kishore R

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Kishore is a Content Analyst for NASCAR at EssentiallySports. With a degree in engineering, Kishore's love for automobiles, particularly the roaring naturally aspirated V8s, naturally led him to wander into the high-speed world of NASCAR. Kishore's writing is characterized by his intense passion for the sport, as well as his ability to conduct in-depth research and analysis.
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Edited by:

Amal Joyce

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