Will RCR Renegade Kyle Busch Emerge As Ross Chastain’s Biggest Playoff Roadblock at Charlotte?

Published 10/07/2023, 9:19 AM EDT

Follow Us

via Imago

When Richard Childress Racing lost Tyler Reddick to 23XI Racing at the beginning of this season, RCR fans frowned. However, when two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch joined the team as the driver of their number 8 Chevrolet Camaro, the same fans heaved a sigh of relief. However, the journey of the 54-year-old NASCAR Cup Series team has not quite lived up to the expectations of its supporters.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Not far behind is Justin Marks’ team. Trackhouse Racing Team icon Daniel Suarez has had only 3 top-5 finishes this season. In fact, the amount of DNFs he received this year is more than that. Looking at his teammate Ross Chastain, the ‘Melonman’ has merely six top-5s and nine top-10s in a span of 26 races, besides two DNFs. However, Ross was able to corkscrew his spot in the playoffs based on points, as was RCR star Kyle Busch. Moving on to the Charlotte Roval these two drivers sit closest to each other on points. Will Charlotte be an RCR and Trackhouse Racing showdown?

Kyle Busch might stand in Ross Chastain’s way to his first win at the ROVAL

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

It is safe to say that both Rowdy and Chastain have had their share of bad-boy incidents on the tracks of NASCAR. While Kyle Busch had once engaged in a bloody brawl with Joey Logano in Las Vegas back in 2017, Ross Chastain pulled off a video game move at Martinsville Speedway that took him through into the 2022 Championship 4 race. But looking at their demeanors lately, it seems like both have gotten softer.

Looking at the odds, Kyle Busch has no wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and neither does Ross Chastain. If one considers points, Ross Chastain sits 11th with a 16-point advantage over Busch. Given that the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is their ultimate chance to make it further into the playoff rumble, Ross Chastain has to gather 10 points and more, whereas Kyle Busch has to bag 26+ points and frog-jump four drivers ahead of him, including Ross Chastain.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest NASCAR stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

The KB Motorsports ex-owner has 2 top-5s, 2 top-10s, and 2 top-20s at the 1.5-mile road course oval. Whereas, the #1 Trackhouse speedster has none of the above. Moreover, Kyle Busch beats Ross Chastain merely on experience at the ROVAL with one start more than the latter. Again, Kyle Busch outdoes Ross Chastain’s average finish of 30.0 with his personal best of 12.3 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Watch this story: 7 Worst Wrecks Involving Ross Chastain That Proved Detrimental to His Rivals

Do you think Kyle Busch could be a problem for Ross Chastain in Sunday’s race? There is a lot for both teams to make up for. Only time will tell who will move forward and who will be left behind.

2023 has been a silly season for both teams

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The last time Kyle Busch secured a top-10 finish was in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Since then, his finishes have been 20th or worse, with the latest being a P25 at Talladega Superspeedway. It was definitely not the season that Richard Childress had anticipated. The playoff battle for RCR has been a struggle since Ryan Newman finished 2nd in the final standings in 2014 and Kevin Harvick was 3rd in 2013. RCR drivers have made the playoffs 10 times since 2015, but none has been able to fare better than 11th.

Trackhouse Racing Team had come up in the headlines of NASCAR news with the usher of Shane Van Gisbergen with their Project 91, but the buzz flickered away soon when SVG moved to the NASCAR development programs. Number 99 driver Daniel Suarez’s season has not been that great. Even for Ross Chastain, the last few races have not been very impressive except for a P2 finish at Texas Motor Speedway and a top 5 finish at the playoff opener race at Darlington Speedway.

Kyle Busch Declares His Way to Race to Be Better, Unlike Former Teammate’s

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Chastain’s crew chief Phil Surgen said, “It doesn’t matter if it’s the playoffs or not – if you have an opportunity to win you’re going to take it. We’re not talking about Hail Marys, but if you’re in the top few and there’s a late caution, and if it’s a gamble on tire strategy to win or finish sixth or seventh, it’s a pretty safe bet you go for the win. But we’re not going to throw a Hail Mary for a win and risk a 25th-place finish,” he added.

Who do you place your bets on this weekend? Is it RCR sensation Kyle Busch or is it Justin Marks’ driver, Ross Chastain?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Soumyadeep Saha

486Articles

One take at a time

Soumyadeep Saha is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. Holding a Master's degree in English literature from a top-tier university, he has always had a great affinity for writing. In the past couple of years, he has channeled his love and commitment for stock cars into building a career path in the arena of Motorsports Journalism.
Show More>

Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today