Busch finishes P2 in St. Louis
Date: June 5, 2022
Event: Inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300 (Round 15 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis (1.25-mile oval)
Format: 240 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/95 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish: 12th/2nd (Running, completed 245 of 245 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd (498 points, 9 behind leader)
Note: Race extended five laps past its scheduled 240-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Race Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kurt Busch of 23XI Racing (Toyota)
● Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota Camry, finished second in Sunday’s Inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis.
● Busch started 12th and worked his way up into the top-10 by lap five.
● The two-time Cup Series champion made it up to eighth at the end of Stage 1 and told crew chief Ben Beshore that he was too tight and needed more overall grip
●The SNICKERS driver came to pit road on lap 48 and the No. 18 team performed a flawless stop, moving him up to the fourth position, up four spots from where he entered pit road.
● Busch eventually settled into the lead halfway through Stage 2 and eventually finished Stage 2 in third after pitting with 10 laps to go in the stage and taking on four tires while several others either stayed out or took two tires.
● With 60 laps to go, Busch found himself in the runner-up spot and took the lead from Erik Jones, with Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney following close behind.
● Busch lost the lead to Logano on the restart on lap 209, but regained the lead on the next restart on lap 228.
● As the laps wound down, Busch was able to keep Logano behind him until the caution waved for a final time for an accident involving Kevin Harvick, which setup a two-lap overtime shootout.
● Busch elected to take the high side on the restart with his brother Kurt Busch behind him. Kyle Busch and Logano swapped the lead, but ultimately wasn’t able to hold off Logano during the final lap, as Busch went on to bring home a solid, but disappointing second-place finish.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“My car was better on the outside, but it took a few laps for it to get rolling up there. Cold tires, firing off on that restart – didn’t have the help behind me. I was going to put my hand out the window and signal to Kurt (Busch) to push me along and Joey (Logano) was half a car back out my window trying to see it, so the hand signal was going to be irrelevant, so I didn’t do it, which kind of made Kurt too far back. Got into turn one by myself and was too far back. When you are the guy on the inside, you just flush the guy on the outside and it’s over. I got a crossover though but threw it into (turn) three too far. It chattered all four tires. Just didn’t have any grip to get off the corner well enough to be on his outside, so I don’t know. Way better than Phoenix overall. We were more in the running than there for sure. The guys on this JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), Toyota, SNICKERS, M&M’s, Interstate Batteries, Rowdy Energy, Breathe Right team did a good job to improve and it’s something to work off of.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Toyota/Save Mart 350k on Sunday, June 12 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. The race starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.