Race Recap for the Camping World 500k
Date: March 19, 2017
Event: Camping World 500k (Round 4 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix International Raceway (1-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish: 9th/3rd (Running, completed 314 of 314 laps)
Point Standing: 13th (97 points, 87 out of first)
Race Winner: Ryan Newman of Richard Childress Racing in overtime (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Started 9th, finished 6th.
● Kyle Busch moved up to seventh within a few laps of the start of the race, despite his car being loose into the corner and tight in the center of the corner.
● Busch pitted on lap 29 during the stage; the Skittles Camry was still a bit loose, with crew chief Adam Stevens adding some air pressure and wedge.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Started 7th, finished 3rd.
● During a pit stop on lap 78 following Stage 1, Stevens made more adjustments to tighten the car up.
● Stevens’ changes improved the handling of the Skittles Camry, as Busch climbed to third by lap 123
● Busch pitted again at the end of Stage 2, as the Las Vegas native felt they had over-adjusted the car a bit too much.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 151-312):
● Started 3rd, finished 3rd.
● After starting Stage 3 in third, Busch worked his way up to second by lap 191.
● On lap 194, the Skittles team performed a flawless stop, vaulting Busch into the lead coming off pit road for the ensuing restart.
● Busch held onto the lead for the next 113 laps until the caution waved for Joey Logano’s blown tire with just four laps remaining.
● Stevens called Busch down pit road one lap later for two tires, but three cars behind him did not pit and Kyle Larson, who had been running second to Busch, edged him off pit road.
● Busch would restart fifth at the start of overtime. While he worked his way up to third on the final lap, he ran out of time to get back to the front.
● Busch led twice for a race-high 114 laps.
● This is Busch’s first top-five of the season, and his seventh top-five finish in 24 career starts at Phoenix.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
How do you feel about the third-place finish?
“We got a top five and that’s what we set out to do today and we got a third so we should be pumped about that and how good this Skittles Camry ran today. It was awesome there at the end and the guys made some really good calls there at the end – Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys did a good job being able to make some good adjustments and make it feel better once we got out front. Thanks to my pit crew – the car really liked clean air. We just got caught up in traffic a little bit early in the race, but we were mindful of that and just kind of bided our time and got up to the front when we did, but we had a little miscue there on pit road with Kurt (Busch) and from there it was just too many cars that stayed out. If it was just two that stayed out maybe, but we really needed the outside like (Kyle) Larson had. Overall we should be proud of our run today and we will move on. That’s racing.”
Is this a strong rebound finish for you after the last couple weeks?
“We had a good car and that’s what it takes. When you have a good car you can run up front like that and we kind of missed it a little bit at Atlanta and we rebounded and tried to rebound a little bit at Vegas and had a shot for a top five there, but we weren’t able to capitalize on that, but we were today thankfully. It seems like every finish that’s destined for us it seems to end in a worse finish that day.”
Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 26 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX.