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How Kyle Busch can still salvage his NASCAR season despite RCR struggles

Richard Childress Racing driver Kyle Busch finds himself in a position he has never been in before during his storied NASCAR career. The two-time Cup Series champion has struggled to make the postseason playoffs this season with no wins under his belt.

After a DNF at last Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway, Busch sits outside the playoff bubble at P17 in the driver rankings. Fellow driver and Xfinity Series regular Parker Kligerman recently spoke about how the Las Vegas, Nevada native can improve his chances of moving forward with the current performance RCR has to offer.

He explained how consistent performances in the top 10 can lay a foundation for Busch in the next eleven races, saying: “If you don’t have any speed, you just have to finish and earn stage points. When days like Gateway pass, you just can’t do that.”

Kligerman supplemented his argument by mentioning that Busch previously had ties to Joe Gibbs Racing, a team that allowed him to earn his two championships. He said, “Kyle Busch obviously hasn’t been in this position many times in his career where he has to find a way to get those results. He’s a man, if you just give him a car that can get him into the top five, it can propel him to a win that will only lock him up.”

It remains to be seen whether Kyle Busch changes his race day strategy by focusing on stage points or continues to aim for his first win of the year.

Why did Kyle Busch DNF during last weekend’s NASCAR race at Gateway?

In the 2024 Enjoy Illinois 300, the #8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driver joined Kyle Larson on the track when the HMS driver entered Turn 1, washed wide into Busch’s door and brought both cars into the outside wall. While Larson was able to continue his race and finish inside the top 10, Busch sustained enough damage to relegate him to the sidelines.

The RCR driver spoke about his contact with Larson in a post-race interview said, “It looked like it had gotten loose. He was driving on older tires and tried to get us a spot. I’m not sure what that one point would mean for him, but it certainly hurt us a lot.”

With eleven races to go before the 2024 postseason play-offs start, there needs to be a shift in the #8 crew’s focus to compete for stage points as much as possible to ensure that there will be future a points bank for Busch is being built up.

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