The driver of the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota Camry met with media members ahead of the All-Star Race and previewed the upcoming Crown Jewel race. He explained that his team has moved up from being the “freshmen” of the Toyota high school after sharing information with JGR. Busch then explained that there are some lingering issues to address.
“This car continues in my mind to exceed expectations other than there’s two quick things,” Busch told media members, transcript courtesy of Toyota Racing. “Like the bodies seem indestructible and the suspension seems very fragile. And so as drivers and teams we’ve communicated those patterns to NASCAR.
“And so I go into an All-Star race where you don’t have to worry about it, but in the back of my mind, to your question, the 600 you have to protect a car and not get a fender rub or get in the fence and tweak the suspension because that just makes for a crazy long day. That’s what I had at Dover a few weeks ago after contact with (AJ) Allmendinger. I had to nurse it around for 150 miles and these cars once they’re bent it’s a whole different ballgame.”
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Busch Can Secure Another Crown Jewel
The 2004 Cup Series champion dealt with some issues early in his first season with 23XI Racing. He had to rebound from three failed inspections at Auto Club Speedway, he crashed at Bristol Motor Speedway, and he struggled at Circuit of the Americas and Richmond Raceway.
Busch turned the corner in a major way by dominating at Kansas Speedway. He locked himself into the playoffs and captured the 34th win of his career after leading 116 total laps in the Jordan Brand Toyota. Now he will try to secure another Crown Jewel win.
Busch has made 40 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway during his career. He has posted 15 total top-10 finishes, and he has reached Victory Lane once. He captured the 2010 Coca-Cola 600 while driving for Team Penske.
Busch Can Help Toyota Snap a Short Winless Streak
The Toyota drivers didn’t have the same pace as the Ford and Chevrolet drivers early in the 2022 season. None reached Victory Lane until Denny Hamlin’s win at Richmond, which was the seventh race of the year. Kyle Busch joined him on the win list two weeks later, but he needed both Chase Briscoe and Tyler Reddick spinning on the last lap to capture the checkered flag.
The Toyota drivers have had a better pace in recent weeks. Martin Truex Jr., both Busch brothers, Bubba Wallace, Hamlin, and Christopher Bell have all contended for top-five finishes. All six Toyota drivers also finished inside the top 10 at Kansas Speedway.
This improved pace bodes well as Busch attempts to snap a short winless streak. A Toyota driver has not reached Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s oval since the 2019 season when Truex won the Coca-Cola 600. This was the third straight win at the track by a Toyota driver, but the situation has since changed.
Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson have accounted for the past three wins on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s oval track. Keselowski won the 2020 Coca-Cola 600, Elliott won the 2020 Alsco Uniforms 500, and Larson won the 2021 Coca-Cola 600.
Kurt Busch Lists Biggest Concern Ahead of Coca-Cola 600