LAS VEGAS – After winning both the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway over the weekend, Kyle Busch entered Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 with a shot at the third tripleheader sweep of his career.
Unfortunately for Busch, a lap-129 speeding penalty during a green-flag cycle of pit stops was too much to overcome and denied Busch a third victory in three days at his hometown race track.
Busch ducked to pit road from the lead when he locked up the tires on his approach to pit road. The Las Vegas native tried to get his car slowed enough to avoid being zinged by NASCAR officials, but was unsuccessful in doing so as his tires slid on the asphalt.
“I certainly screwed up our day,” lamented Busch. “Coming to pit road there … we tried a different brake package for us this weekend, and I was trying to make up time in order to get a bigger jump on the guys behind me coming to pit road there, and just ruined it for us. We had to come from the back after that.”
Busch fell as far back as 24th, one lap down, before rallying through the field to regain his lost lap before the caution flag flew at the end of the second stage.
After starting the final 100-lap run at the back of the top 20, Busch powered through traffic and actually led four laps during the final cycle of green-flag pit stops, but stalled out after passing Kevin Harvick for third and ran out of time to run down the Team Penske duo of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.
“Coming from the back was too much to overcome because the cars don’t have any speed,” Busch explained. “You’re wide open and just trying to suck off of any cars that you can that’s in front of you and get a draft. I was running 31 flats when I was chasing those leaders down, and then once I got to them, I stalled out to 31:40’s because the wind was just so bad behind those guys that you couldn’t corner anymore. You couldn’t maneuver. I couldn’t run low.
“If they ran low, I couldn’t run high; if they ran high, I couldn’t run low. You’re always trying to figure out which way to go,” he continued. “I think we passed the most cars today and I think we were the most impressive, but it doesn’t matter because we don’t have a trophy. Whatever. On to next week.”