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The Art of Racing - Busch on a roll
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Kyle Busch won his third Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race last Saturday night after starting in 32nd place.

He really didn’t have a 32nd place car, but he had a very poor qualifying run because of the wrong strategy. Trying to save tires, he gambled on making the top 24 in the first round of qualifying, but it didn’t pan out. Busch’s win set a Richmond record for the deepest starting spot for a winner, and it certainly provided for an entertaining run as Busch sliced his way to the front. It took just 35 laps for him to crack into the top 10, and soon after, the top five.

It wasn’t until late in the race that Busch’s crew won the race off pit road, and put the No. 18 car out front. From there, he went on to lead 29 of the final 30 laps, en route to his third consecutive victory this season.

“You just gotta work, man,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “Can’t say enough about Adam Stevens and my guys. Pit crew, they won the race for me. Got us where we needed to be. It’s definitely cool we won three in a row. I don’t know if you can shoot for four in a row at Talladega but we’re going to go and give it a shot.”

Joey Logano swept the first two stages, leading 92 laps. Starting third, Logano took care of his tires early and soon tracked down the leader Martin Truex Jr. and passed him on lap 39. He never was challenged during the rest of stage 1. Kurt Busch and teammate Clint Bowyer led most of the second stage but Logano once again did a better job of saving his tires, passing the leaders with eight laps to go to win the second stage.
The 400-lap race was caution free for the first 355 laps, (except for the two cautions for the end of the two stages). Most fans regarded the race as boring, but there was plenty of excitement, especially among the top-10 drivers. With 45 laps to go, the competition heated up as drivers raced hard to the end of the race. Four caution flags flew during the final 45 laps causing the race to go into overtime.

The race started in daylight and finished up at night. Track conditions changed drastically as the race progressed, but the lack of cautions prevented teams from making changes to the car. An incident on lap 391 had Truex leading the pack into the pits for the final time, but a mistake by the jack man allowed Kyle Busch to leave the pits with the lead, a lead he did not relinquish over the final laps.

Busch’s win was his third in a row in 2018, and 46th career victory in Cup racing.

After Harvick’s three early wins, a lot of people were conceding the Championship to him. Now, after Busch’s three wins, he has joined Harvick as the Championship favorites.

Kyle Busch, Logano, Bowyer, Harvick and Brad Keselowski are the top 5 in points as the season moves to the very unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway.