INDIANAPOLIS – Jeff Gordon may have stamped his name into the final round at Homestead in two weeks by virtue of his win at the Martinsville Speedway last Sunday, but another driver pretty well all but summed a win in the Eliminator Round’s opening race as well and that’s Kyle Busch.
No, he didn’t win and automatically advance to the next round, but he may as well should have.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was almost down and out after a midrace spin in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, but the Las Vegas native battled back to an incredible fifth place effort last weekend. Counter that with the unfortunate mistakes with three other Chase drivers in Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch and you have a driver sitting in a very good spot right now with two races to go in the third round.
Currently, Busch sits second in the Chase standings as he has a 19 point cushion over fifth place in the standings entering this weekend’s race at the Texas Motor Speedway. If Busch can continue his hot streak at Texas and nab another top five, then all he really has to do at Phoenix next weekend is stay out of trouble. If he can do that, then Busch can make the final round and not have to win at either of the next two races.
Lets face it, at least one driver can advance to the next round by not winning a race. Busch, is in the catbirds seat as the driver that can be that guy.
In four of his last five Texas starts, Busch has came away with four top four finishes including a win in 2013. Furthermore, Busch has two fifth place finishes in the last three weeks and three top fives in the last five races to make him a credible candidate to nab another top five on Sunday afternoon.
If he can do that, then Busch will likely only need to come away with a top 20 the following week and advance to Homestead rather easily.
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indy Sports Report. Follow @Ericsportsguru and @IndySportsRep on Twitter
Eric Smith is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report covering Racing. He’s covered both IndyCar and NASCAR action since 2009 and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by both the IndyCar Series and all three divisions of NASCAR racing.
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