Kyle Busch Languishes in Ninth After Copping Two Penalties at Richmond

Published 09/13/2021, 9:06 AM EDT
May 9, 2021; Darlington, South Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) races during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Earlier this weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Richmond Raceway concluded, with Martin Truex Jr leading a Joe Gibbs Racing 1-2-3 ahead of Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell. Meanwhile, their remaining teammate, Kyle Busch, could only muster ninth place. This was a little surprising, considering he had one of the best, if not the best, car on the track.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Later on, it transpired that the #18 driver copped two untimely penalties. In all honesty, Busch can be forgiven for his final position because of the transgressions. According to reports, the first penalty came on lap 30 during the competition caution. Apparently, the Las Vegas native got hauled up for an “equipment interference” violation.

To be precise, the team got into trouble during the pit stop phase when a stray tire rolled into Justin Haley’s pit box. Naturally, this interfered with Haley’s pit stop. NASCAR officials clearly did not appreciate the pit lane bungle and demoted Busch to the rear for the restart.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What did Kyle Busch do from that point onwards?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Of course, the two-time Cup Series champion opted to not dwell on the penalty and its potential unfairness. Instead, he elected to just put his head down and charge up the order. It worked like a charm, as he finished 14th by the end of the first stage. In Stage 2, the comeback was on, as Busch fought his way up to second-place and scored nine points.

Jul 18, 2021; Loudon, New Hampshire, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) inspects damage to his car after a collision with driver Denny Hamlin (not seen) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Stage 3 turned into the Joe Gibbs Racing show, as all four cars ran in the top-4 for most of the third stage. On a more personal level, Kyle Busch even inherited the lead for a spell. Sadly, it all came crashing down when he incurred another penalty, this time for speeding on his final pitstop.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The good news was that the punishment was just a mere pass-through penalty. To make matters even better, he rejoined in the Top 10. In the end, he moved up one more position to finish 9th. With that, Busch picked up 37 points and strengthened his chances with 10th in the playoff standings.

DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Carl Edwards Bumps Kyle Busch on His Way to Victory at Richmond

16 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Dhruv George

12023 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT