The Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway came to a very early end for Kyle Busch on August 7 after a wreck collected him and several other drivers. He responded by saying that he can’t “buy a break” at this point in the regular season.
“I was trying to bide my time. Knew we weren’t necessarily gonna need to be in a hurry there to get points for the end of that stage,” Busch told NBC Sports after exiting the infield care center. “It was going to be a 40-lap run, and it was going to be plenty of time to get up there with our car.
“Just got squeezed between the 10 spinning and myself in the fence,” Busch continued. “I don’t get it, man. Can’t buy a break right now. When asked about his level of frustration, he responded by saying, “one out of 10? Infinity.”
Busch was one of nine cars listed on NASCAR’s caution report. Some were able to continue, such as Michael McDowell and Todd Gilliland, but Busch was not among this group. He ended the day 36th overall while Austin Cindric was 37th. JJ Yeley (35th), Aric Almirola (34th), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (33rd), and Harrison Burton (32nd) were the rest of the drivers that visited the infield care center.
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Busch’s Streak of Issues Continued
This wreck marked the eighth straight race where Busch has finished outside of the top 10. This streak started at Sonoma Raceway where Busch finished 30th overall.
It continued with a 21st-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway, 29th at Road America, 20th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, 12th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 36th at Pocono Raceway, and 11th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.
The trip to Pocono Raceway was a unique outlier. The No. 18 actually finished the race second overall behind Denny Hamlin’s No. 11. However, NASCAR officials disqualified both entries after post-race inspection due to a piece of tape on the lower front fascia.
This run of issues is surprising for one major reason. Per Joseph Srigley of TobyChristie.com, Busch had never gone seven races without a top-10 finish in the Cup Series. He hit that mark at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then extended it at Michigan International Speedway.
Busch has a spot in the playoffs based on his win at Bristol Motor Speedway (dirt), but his recent struggles have hurt him in the championship standings. He is currently eighth in the points standings and the projected 11th seed once the playoffs begin.
This seeding would put him in a solid position to potentially move past the Round of 16 and avoid an early elimination. Though the current string of issues would have to come to an end in order for Busch and the No. 18 to achieve this goal.
Busch Has a Prime Opportunity at the Next Track
The 2022 season has not gone as Busch planned, especially in the recent races. However, he has an opportunity to rebound at the next track on the schedule, one where he has achieved considerable success.
The Cup Series will next head to Richmond Raceway on August 14 for one of the three remaining regular-season races. This will be the second trip to the short track in 2022, and Busch will try to surpass his ninth-place finish from earlier in the season.
The two-time Cup Series champion has made 33 starts at Richmond Raceway during his Cup Series career, and he has posted top-10 finishes in 78.8% of them. This includes nine straight dating back to the 2017 season.
Along with the top-10s and top-fives, Busch has also celebrated in Victory Lane. He has six wins with one each year in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. His most recent wins were a season sweep in 2018.