Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch continued to have problems this weekend as the Sprint Cup Series visited Michigan International Speedway Sunday for the Pure Michigan 400. The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, who finished 42nd at Pocono and 40th at Watkins Glen, finished 39th in Michigan after he spun out on Lap 5 of the 200-lap event.
“I felt so good about my car those first few laps running the bottom, but then I was getting hung out on the straightaways,” said Busch. “Then I just tried going to the top in (turns) three and four right away and I got loose all the way through (turns) three and four. Every time I touched the gas it wanted to spin out and finally it was too much gas and not enough save and I wrecked. I just hate it for these Interstate Batteries guys. I was really optimistic about our car there in the opening laps and we didn’t get to see what we were capable of.”
Busch wasn’t the only JGR driver with problems on Sunday, as Matt Kenseth was caught up in Michigan’s version of “the big one” on Lap 36. In addition to the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, the wreck damaged the cars of Danica Patrick, Trevor Bayne, Justin Allgaier and Martin Truex Jr. among others. Kenseth finished 38th.
The one bright light for JGR was Denny Hamlin, who earned a seventh-place finish in the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota.
“It was a good day for us,” said Hamlin. “We’ve obviously been struggling for speed – struggling a lot today. Really, the best handling car I’ve had all year, really in a long time – really since the repave. Proud of the job that the entire FedEx Freight team – Darian (Grubb, crew chief) and Mike (Wheeler, interim crew chief) – did this weekend. I really loved my car – especially at the end of the race, once we got track position. Strategy got us up there. I picked cars off one by one. We had a great handling car. It’s good to see us run up there.”
Jeff Gordon won the race from the pole, followed by Kevin Harvick. Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five at Michigan.
The Sprint Cup Series has a short week, as they travel to Bristol Motor Speedway for the IRWIN Tools Night Race on Saturday, August 23rd. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.
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