NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 10 Kyle Busch

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Kyle Busch

Season finish: 10th

2014 Season Stats: 1 win, 9 top-5, 15 top-10, 3 Poles.

What went right: The younger Busch brother had a good, but not great season. For the second time in three seasons, he managed just one victory, compared to his four wins in 2013. But Busch’s lack of wins didn’t rest solely on himself. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin also only had one win, while fellow teammate Matt Kenseth had zero wins after earning a series-high seven triumphs in 2013. Busch faded in the Eliminator Round of the Chase and did not advance to the season-ending Championship Round at Homestead. On a side note, Busch and wife Samantha announced they will soon become parents for the first time.

What went wrong: While Busch insists racing in other series helps him with his day job in the Sprint Cup circuit, one must wonder if perhaps he’s racing too much and it indeed is affecting that same day job. Busch earned seven wins each in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series in 2014, but an argument can be made that by racing so much, he’s wearing himself out for Sunday’s usual main event. On a more specific note, Busch and crew chief Dave Rogers had communication problems that may have ultimately led to their divorce of sorts after the season. It’ll be interesting to see how Busch and new crew chief in 2015, Adam Stevens, work together. Or not.

2015 Prospectus: With a new crew chief, and likely with at least a few new pit crew members, it will be interesting to see how quickly Busch and Stevens jell in 2015. Of course, they’re not strangers, as Stevens was Busch’s crew chief the past two seasons in the Nationwide Series. If they can only have part of the success they’ve had on NASCAR’s junior circuit – 52 starts, 19 wins, 46 top-5 and 47 top-10 finishes – in the Cup series, it will be a good change. Busch still hasn’t won his first Cup championship. Will turning 30 and being a new father and having a new crew chief in 2015 all potentially help him to that goal?

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Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

Indy Lights
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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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