Another race was seemingly in the hands of Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch. As the laps wound down, it looked as if Busch was the only driver who had anything for the No. 78. Green flag pit stops began with less than 75 laps remaining in the race and all the pit crew needed to do was have a flawless pit stop. The team did just that but as Busch’s car exited pit road, the No. 18 was posted for speeding on pit road forcing the driver to serve a pass through penalty.
The final caution of the afternoon came out with 40 laps to go. Busch brought his No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry down pit road with the leaders and would seemingly come out on level playing field with the others. Another great pit stop by the team would be brought back down again by another speeding penalty which would have the No. 18 starting at the tail end of the longest line, basically ending any chance the team had at winning.
Busch would rebound but without another caution, but would cross the finish line in 12th as teammate, Denny Hamlin, went on to end the losing streak Joe Gibbs Racing has faced this season. Busch fought hard for the 12th place finish but it would be his ninth finish outside the top-10 this season. Despite that stat, Busch has seven top-five’s and ten top-10 finishes this season which sits the No. 18 comfortably inside the playoff picture for now. A win would lock the team in the playoffs, but that win column still has zero in it.
Busch now heads back to Indianapolis, the last place he earned a victory almost a year ago. It’s either frustration or confidence, but the team has to be bringing some sort of feeling to the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch has led 168 laps en route to two victories. The team has five stage wins which will count for something once we get past Richmond, should the No. 18 team still be in the playoff picture.