Date: Aug. 29, 2020
Event: Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Round 26 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)
Format: 160 laps, broken into three stages (50 laps/50 laps/60 laps)
Note: Race extended four laps past its scheduled 160-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
Start/Finish: 11th/33rd (Accident, completed 152 of 164 laps)
Point Standing: 14th with 2,003 points, 54 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS
Race Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50):
● Kyle Busch started 11th and finished 10th, earning one bonus point.
● The Interstate Batteries driver started 11th and worked his way up towards the front of the field, finding himself in sixth at the lap 20 competition caution.
● Crew chief Adam Stevens called Busch to pit road on lap 22 for fuel only, as Busch restarted in the seventh position on the ensuing restart.
● Busch made it up to fourth by lap 39, but was shuffled out of the draft on the last lap of the stage and finished 10th in Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100):
● Busch started ninth and finished 30th.
● The Interstate Batteries driver pitted on lap 52 to take on four fresh tires and fuel, as he restarted ninth on lap 52
● Busch moved up to the lead by lap 67, but as the laps wound down, Stevens radioed to the defending Cup Series Champion that he wouldn’t make it to the end of the stage on fuel, as he came down pit road on lap 97 for left side tires and fuel, finishing the stage in 30th.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 101-160):
● Busch started seventh and finished 33rd.
● As part of the strategy to give up stage points with the hopes of having a shot of winning the race, Busch pitted again following Stage 2 for right side tires and a small amount of fuel, as he vaulted up to seventh coming off pit road with most other leaders having to take on four tires and a full load of fuel.
● Busch took the lead on 119 and eventually came to pit road on lap 126 taking fuel only.
● The Interstate Batteries driver resumed the lead at the completion of the pit cycle as Busch resumed the lead on lap 147.
● Coming to seven laps to go, the car of Tyler Reddick got to the inside of Busch and tried to slide up in front of him. Unfortunately for Busch there was not enough room and it caused Busch to get into SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall and triggered a multi-car accident, ending his once promising day.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“Just a slide job gone bad. (Tyler) Reddick threw it off into three and might have been clear, but wasn’t clear by much and started coming up the track and was losing momentum. I even had to check-up because I saw him coming and it wasn’t enough check-up and wrecked the field. I hate it for all my Interstate Batteries guys. They’ve worked so hard this year and done a great job. We put ourselves in a great spot again tonight and had a fast race car, a good driving race car and was just hoping we could maintain that position for the rest of the day and get a win, that’s what we’re trying to look for. Thought we had a shot to do that. Still 2020.”
Team Interstate Results:
● Denny Hamlin (Finished 3rd / Running, completed 164 of 164 laps)
● Martin Truex Jr. (Finished 4th / Running, completed 164 of 164 laps)
● Kyle Busch (Finished 33rd / Accident, completed 152 of 160 laps)
● Erik Jones (Finished 35th / Accident, completed 152 of 160 laps)
Team Interstate Points:
Denny Hamlin (2nd with 2,047 points, 10 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
Martin Truex Jr. (6th with 2,014 points, 39 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
Kyle Busch (14th with 2,003 points, 54 out of first – IN THE PLAYOFFS)
Erik Jones (16th with 593 points)
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 6 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The first race in the 10-race NASCAR Playoffs starts at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!