NASCAR Pocono Notebook: Kyle Busch Sees Benefits Of Changed Rules Package

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Kyle Busch (Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch (Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

LONG POND, Pa. – Among NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, the biggest fan of adapting different competition packages to different race tracks may just be Kyle Busch.

The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota believes his talent behind the wheel can prevail with a new rules package before crew chiefs and engineers can catch up with the nuances.

That’s not brag—it’s fact. And the proof is in the performance. Busch has won three straight Sprint Cup races, all with different configurations, from low-downforce at Kentucky to standard 2015 rules at New Hampshire to high-drag at Indianapolis.

“With the different aero packages, I actually was pretty excited about it,” Busch said. “I kind of like change, and I feel like I’m the best at being able to adapt to it the fastest before crew chiefs and engineers get too much of a understanding and a basis of what they’ve got to work on to make those packages better in order to get their driver better or their cars better to be able to keep up with me.”

I kind of like the change. The lower downforce at Kentucky was fun. It was definitely a lot harder than what the other mile-and-a-halves had been this year. I hadn’t run in a whole lot of them. But, just from the driver’s sense of what I got, the off-throttle time was a lot more. Everybody enjoyed it a lot so we hope to continue on down that path.

“The higher drag package that we had last week again it was definitely different and you were definitely able to gain time on the straightaways for sure — sometimes not as much as if you were in a pack.”

But Busch believes the high-drag package, which NASCAR will run next at Michigan in two weeks, might also be an option at Pocono, site of Sunday’s Windows 10 400.

“I enjoyed it, and I actually wouldn’t mind if we had that higher drag package here at Pocono,” Busch said. “I think here would definitely be a race that you’d want to see it with these long straightaways. So, that would certainly make for a really interesting race.”


A brief statement by Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman raised more questions than it provided answers about the future of MWR.

Earlier in the week, a statement released by MWR indicated Kaufmann was buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, fueling speculation that driver Clint Bowyer and sponsor 5-Hour Energy would move to Ganassi.

Standing behind the hauler of the No. 55 MWR Toyota driven by David Ragan, however, Kauffman gave the impression that co-owner Michael Waltrip was somehow involved in the process and that there might be synergy between the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations.

“First and foremost, the thing that’s important to realize is that Michael Waltrip and I co-own Michael Waltrip Racing together,” Kauffman said. “We’re business partners and great personal friends, so any idea that I’m leaving or taking anything is actually misplaced.

“What we’re actually doing is integrating the businesses, trying to get the most competitive product on track, do the best for all of our partners—that’s really our focus. It’s a competitive business, as everybody knows. It’s competitive on track as well as off track.”

Kauffman indicated there are many details still to be determined.

“In terms of our plans, whether we have three cars, four cars, two roofs, one roof—that’s all yet to be determined, and how we do in the 2015 season will help determine whether that happens,” Kauffman said. “If we do a great job, that’ll be one outcome. If we do a less great job, probably another.”

Kauffman stepped into the hauler without taking questions from the throng of reporters clustered outside.


Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session, Jeb Burton’s No. 26 Toyota got loose off Turn 3 and spun toward pit road. Burton missed the outside pit road wall but slid across pit lane into the interior barrier, destroying his car. Burton will use a backup for Sunday’s Windows 10 400…

Polesitter Kyle Busch brushed the outside wall during Happy Hour, and his team went to work repairing the cosmetic damage. The incident wasn’t severe enough to jeopardize Busch No. 1 starting spot. Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson also clipped the wall slightly, leaving a mark on the right rear of the No. 48 Chevrolet but doing no real damage.

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