CONCORD, N.C. – Next to the season finale and Sprint Cup championship deciding race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 could ultimately be the second second biggest race of the season, says pole-sitter Kyle Busch.
After claiming the pole Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Busch agreed that Saturday’s race has optimal significance for all Chase drivers, but especially for those who are at potential risk of being eliminated and missing the upcoming Eliminator Round after next Sunday’s race at Talladega.
“Yes, I would say that this certainly has a big importance especially to the guys that are farther back,” Busch said. “They know this is a track that’s in their own destiny, that they can do good at, that they can win at.
“Next week (at Talladega) is a complete unknown. You could have a David Ragan win the race, we’ve seen that (in the past). That won’t do anything good for the guys that need wins to get themselves moved on.”
So, particularly for the four drivers who are at the bottom of the Sprint Cup standings currently – Kasey Kahne (ninth), Brad Keselowski (10th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (11th) and Jimmie Johnson (12th) – are essentially in must-win situations Saturday night if they hope to get to the next round, particularly with the unpredictability of ‘Dega.
But Busch, who is second in the Cup standings, also has his own idea of what he’d like to do Saturday, as well as where he and his team go from there.
“In my mind, the perfect scenario for us and the 18 team is to come out of here with a solid top-five finish hopefully, go into Talladega, race ’em like heck, win that race, go to Martinsville and win that race, then go to Homestead and win that race,” Busch said. “You do those three things and you’re the champion. Sign me up, sign me up.”
Gee, listening to Busch, that “perfect scenario” sounds so simple and easy.
Yet, it’ll likely be anything but – unless Kyle knows something the rest of us don’t.
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