Race Recap: Can-Am 500k
Date: Nov. 12, 2017
Event: Can-Am 500k (Round 35 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Phoenix Raceway (1-mile oval)
Format: 312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/7th (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd with 5,000 points (Advances to Championship 4)
Race Winner: Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):
● Kyle Busch started eighth, finished sixth.
● Busch started the race in eighth and told crew chief Adam Stevens that his No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry was a little tight and just would not turn.
● Busch worked his way through the field and finished the stage in sixth.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):
● Busch started fourth, finished fifth.
● The Las Vegas native pitted for the first time on lap 79 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He exited the pits in fourth.
● Busch reported to his crew that the car was still tight.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 151-312):
● Busch started third, finished seventh.
● He pitted on lap 153 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
● The M&M’S Caramel Toyota driver reported that the car was super tight as he fell to 10th.
● He pitted twice, but the crew could not correct the problem. On lap 239 he reported that his brakes were gone, and he fell back all the way to 14th.
● Busch pitted for the final time on lap 280 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment. The car responded, and he worked his way to seventh.
● Busch now has 21 top-10 finishes in 2017 and 17 in 25 starts at Phoenix.
● The Championship 4 contenders are Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski. Each enters the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with 5,000 points where the top finisher of the four drivers will be crowed the 2017 Cup Series champion.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“We had a really, really great racecar yesterday in practice and thought our M&M’S Caramel Camry was going to be up front for the lead, but unfortunately all the things that we did overnight just weren’t the right way. Truex was asking me – before the race, you know – he says, ‘Hey did you find that box of center turn overnight?’ and I said after the race, I just told him, ‘I already shipped it down to Homestead (Miami Speedway) for next week,’ so hopefully that means something for us next week and not necessarily this week. But strong comeback – great to get a top-10 at least, you know? That was a pretty dismal performance for our fans, so apologize for that, but, you know, better days are ahead next week.”
Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Ford 400 season finale on Sunday, Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC.