After the first two races of the 2013 Chase for the Sprint Cup, it would appear that Kyle Busch’s greatest competition for the championship will be none other than his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth.
Busch fell just short to Kenseth last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, and today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, he ran out of time in his bid to hunt him down, losing out by half a second in the end.
In regards to having to likely duel with Kenseth for the Cup, Busch feels that he and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team can’t do anything different than what they’ve been doing lately.
“I think the organization is going to give the equipment to the both of us,” Busch explained at NHMS. “I don’t think any one of us is going to get better stuff. It’s just going to come down to better communication between myself and the crew chief in that way, because those are certainly the ways that you win these things.
“That’s how you build speed, getting your car better all through the weekend. But if you can unload and just hit it and be on it and get going, then that’s a better way to win each weekend…”
Kenseth was certainly “on it” at the Magic Mile today, leading a race-high 106 laps en route to his seventh victory of the year. Busch felt that his own race was “pretty good” but admitted that he couldn’t hang with Kenseth no matter what he and his team could come up with.
“Certainly, we were never as fast this weekend as the 20 [Kenseth] was,” Busch said. “They just had a special car. Sometimes you unload with them, and they’re just phenomenal. The 20 had that here this weekend.
“We tried everything to try to keep up with him and to get pace with him, but it was tough to do.”
Not helping matters for Busch, in his mind, was an ill-fated final restart with 41 laps remaining that subsequently forced him to try and cover a sizable gap in the closing laps.
“I spun my tires a little bit so I didn’t get a chance to race him at all, and then I had to fend off everybody else and get stretched out and try to run him down,” Busch said.
He came close to doing just that. But with his teammate running on all cylinders, “close” will not be good enough if he wants to win the Chase.