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Kyle Busch Overcomes Spin and Loose Wheel to Finish Third at Las Vegas

It was an eventful race day for Kyle Busch at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Christopher Vargas | The Podium Finish)

LAS VEGAS – A tough afternoon led to a rather strong third-place result for Kyle Busch during Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

By tough, the result had to be earned considering all the pitfalls Busch endured throughout the 267-lap race especially when it involved tire woes that set him back until the very end.

With four laps left in Stage 1, Busch’s No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Camry went out of control in Turn 4, bringing out the first caution of the race. Busch used the access road to bring his Camry into the pits for fresh tires. The spin relegated him from sixth to a frustrating 33rd place result.

From that point forward, it was about regaining lost track which he was able to do in Stage 2, collecting a single stage point.

His comeback was more so when the race came down to the final 50 laps when he was up to fifth.

However, Busch’s afternoon changed once again after a caution came out for Ryan Blaney crashing in Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 229.

This gave drivers an opportunity to pit for fresh tires and much needed fuel, as Busch exited out of the pits a bit early.

That resulted in what’s expected to be the final race he’ll have Ben Beshore calling the shots.

Smoke began picking up on Busch’s left front fender and right away, it was presumed the tire wasn’t fully secured. Limping the car on the backstretch to avoid consequential outcomes, the left front came off and the crowd erupted when the madness unfolded.

As part of NASCAR’s penalty rulebook for loose wheels, Beshore and a few crew members will be suspended for the next four races. Due to there being just three more races in 2022, the suspension will extend into the start of the 2023 season.

Even with the unfortunate outcome, Busch’s self-admitting strong Camry quickly carved his way through the field and with two more cautions involving Daniel Suarez and Landon Cassill respectively, it was game on.

Busch scored his eighth top-five of the season. (Photo: Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

In the midst of an intense duel for the lead between Joey Logano and Ross Chastain, Busch was suddenly back inside the top-five as the race boiled down to the final six laps. While Logano ultimately won the battle against Chastain, Busch was far from settling down for a third-place outing.

The ever determined Busch was poised of snatching second from Chastain with a huge run on the top groove coming into Turn 4. It didn’t quite pan out for Busch as Chastain cut the lane which resulted in Busch brushing the wall and unable to get Chastain.

Unpleased, Busch showed his displeasure to Chastain on the cool down lap by cutting him off in Turn 3. Cooler heads prevailed as Busch described his eventful Sunday afternoon at his home track.

“I kept fighting in it and digging hard all day long. We had a really fast Camry TRD anyway. Not as good as the Penske guys. They really have a hold of this place,” said Busch. “We worked on ours all day long and got it better. Certainly, a top-five car and a good third-place finish. We salvaged what we could after having a lot of ups and downs.

“We had good pit stops all day. I left a little early on that one that we had a loose wheel. All in all, we had a great recovery. I’m trying to get back into the top-10 points. That’s where it’s at.”

Three races remain for Busch to crack the top-10 in points and avoid failing to finish there for the first time since 2012. Following his eighth top-five of the year, Busch remains 14th in the standings as he’ll look to carry vital momentum into Homestead-Miami Speedway next Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.

In 17 previous Homestead starts, Busch is a two-time winner which coincided with his two Cup titles in 2015 and 2019. “Rowdy” has also finished in the top-10 the last seven straight races as the streak began the year he won his first title.

Throughout my young motorsports media career, my number-one goal is to be a personnel that can be flexible with my writing and photography in the world of NASCAR, INDYCAR and ARCA. Content delivery is vital because this is my main passion and what keeps me going. I've dealt with several challenges in my life, such as autism and making most out of trips despite relying on transportation. Even my quest of finding acceptance in my profession which has been my biggest challenge since graduating from college in 2016. Despite those hurdles with Motorsports Tribune and now The Podium Finish, I promise that you'll see excellence with my content. With two National Motorsports Press Association photography awards, I'm not slowing down anytime soon. Outside of media, I'm super vocal about my musical tastes that goes from Metallica to HAIM. Not only that, expect my social media filled with references nobody will understand, especially Licorice Pizza.

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