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Four Straight Not A Given For Busch On Sunday

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, April 29 2018

Kyle Busch knows that at Talladega, winning streaks can end like this. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Ashley R Dickerson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

During his Friday press conference at Talladega Superspeedway, Kyle Busch talked about winning the last three NASCAR Cup Series and the prospect of making it four in a row this weekend.

Well, he said, Talladega and the bizarre restrictor plate racing shows that the series puts on there could make his quest interesting. And momentum, he said, is no match the high banks at NASCAR’s biggest track.

“It makes for a more challenging time to be able to get that fourth in a row,” Busch said, “but also we’ll know how much more rewarding it is when we do get it.”

You’ve got to wonder what Busch thought a bit later as he watched the car of Jamie McMurray barrel roll down seven times the back stretch at over 200 mph.

“I think that we blew a left-rear tire,” McMurray, driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, said. “That is what it sounded like.  I heard the tire start to come apart and you are kind a long for the ride.  The car, I think, it turned to the right and then kind of back to the left and I obviously was in the front of that draft and then once it starts rolling you don’t have any control.

“You can’t tell what is up and what is down you are spinning so fast.  I was just thankful.  Honestly, the whole time it’s flipping I was like, just please land on the right way up so I can get out.  You just never know if there is going to be a fire.  We literally had only run four or five laps so you know you have a full tank of fuel and so to get out upside down I’ve never done that, but it’s a challenge when you watch guys try to do that.  So, I was just thankful that the car landed on all four.”

The crash came after McMurray posted the fastest practice speed in the second session, at 203.97 mph.

McMurray’s tumble was not the typical “Big One” at Talladega. While it was big, it involved just the one car and did not occur as the result of pack racing.

After McMurray got airborne NASCAR announced a reduction in the size of the restrictor-plate openings from 7/8ths of inch to 55/64ths, a difference of 1/64th.

In qualifying on Saturday, Busch had a disappointing effort and will start the race 19th. On the pole is another driver who is looking to win his fourth race of the season, Kevin Harvick of Stewart Haas Racing.

Both Busch and Harvick know that starting position is irrelevant. They know that The final laps will determine the winner, not the early laps.

And the momentum of winning three in a row? It helps.

“Certainly you can be a believer in momentum,” Busch said, “and you can also be a believer in confidence in yourself and your team and when you’re on a roll sometimes, it feels like you can do no wrong and then some things kind of start going bad or vice versa, you can be on a roll where you feel you can do no right so I’ve certainly been on those as well too. You never know when you’re next win is going to be so you cherish them all. Fortunately for us, we’ve had them the last three weeks in a row. It’s been a great start to the season and we’re having some fun and we just want to keep that going.”

But he also knows at Talladega, momentum is not a shield from Big Ones.

“We know this is a place that can derail things,” Busch said, “so you try not to let that mess up your mindset for the rest of the year or even next week going to Dover and after that”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, April 29 2018
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