Kyle Busch wants to win championship, but may fall short due to mechanical issuesBy Ashley McCubbin
“We want to win championships – that what we’re here for. To do that, you first need to be consistent each and every week.” – Kyle Busch, February 2013
After a disaster of a season last year, Kyle Busch was looking to come into this season and turn things around, in hopes of making the Chase and possibly winning his first Sprint Cup championship. However, Daytona didn’t start off how the driver of the No. 18 M&Ms Camry would have hoped, falling out of the race due to an engine failure.
“Just broke something inside the motor,” he said. “There are pieces that are supposed to stay together, and they didn’t stay together. I hate it for this whole M&M’s team. All of the guys at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) built an awesome piece. All three of us have been fast since we’ve been down here. The best we’ve qualified here in a while, so kudos to all of the guys building these cars, but we’ve got to have engines that last.”
Last year, Busch was plagued with motor issues, having two blow back-to-back mid-season. That combined with some other mechanical problems took Busch out of championship contention, leaving him to finish 13th in points.
With that said, there was concerns going into the season is whether Toyota Racing Development has sorted out all of the issues that they experienced last year. Back in early February, Busch said you could be certain it was taken care of.
“It was very well addressed,” he said. “I spoke my mind a few times, probably one time that I shouldn’t have, which is who I am. The Toyota guys worked really hard. There’s a whole group of guys in California that work really hard on our engines. Unfortunately, we had some problems last year. I broke three in a row and then I had another problem at Loudon running second. So those guys have worked hard through the off-season making sure those problems don’t arrive again. That’s all they can do.”
However, concern is back as Busch wasn’t the only driver to blow a motor. Busch’s teammate Matt Kenseth blew his motor a lap after, pulling into the garage after running in the top three with his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates. Michael Waltrip Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. also experienced issues under the hood of his Toyota, too.
Throughout the past couple of seasons, Joe Gibbs Racing has been in contention to win championships, however has always found problems of it’s own. Denny Hamlin made the Chase last year, however finished sixth after experiencing issues of his own.
The next couple of weekends will now be a test to see whether issues continue, or whether this was just a fluke deal to start the season off. Busch heads to Phoenix International Speedway this weekend, where he has one win and 10 top 10s in 16 starts.
“I’m not here to make a check – I’m here to work hard and I’m here to win and bring home trophies and championships are what my ultimate dream is,” Busch said. “I don’t know whether it’s the Lord upstairs just making me wait, or what. Even if I did win one championship, I’m not done, I’m not leaving – I still want to win more. You still have that same hunger and drive to get as many as you can. It just plays out as it does, sometimes.”
Speed is one thing, but liability has to be there to be consistent and win the championships. If Busch wants that championship, TRD better do their homework.