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Kyle Busch vows to be better leader

Coming off his worst finish since the Southern 500, and in real danger of missing the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup if he doesn't do a quick about-face, Kyle Busch vowed Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to become more of a leader for his #18 team.

Unaware that he had lost two spring rubbers from the right rear of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Busch fought the handling of his Toyota at Chicagoland Speedway and ultimately gave up on the car. His day ended with a blown engine and a 33rd-place finish, his worst since running 34th at Darlington. Now he says he has to become better at dealing with adversity and making the best of a bad day.

“Our bad weeks are bad - they're real bad,” Busch said, “You can't have super bad days. If you're having a bad day, then you need to make a tenth out of it, and we're not very good at that. I'm not very good at that, and I don't think our team is very good at that.

“Maybe that's because of me, maybe I'm not leading it in the right direction. I've got some things that I've got to try to work on to make ourselves better and ultimately more championship-calibre.”

Busch, who is currently tenth in the Cup standings, had a banner season in 2008, winning eight races, but his team fell apart when the Chase began. This year, he has three victories, second best in the Cup series, but of little consequence if he fails to qualify for the Chase and can't use the ten-point bonus Chase drivers get for each win.

On aggregate, Busch has put forth the best qualifying effort of his career this season, with an average starting position of 8.5, but lacking are the finishes, where the average of 17.0 is his worst since 2005, Busch's first full season of Cup racing.

Busch hasn't had a problem with finishes in the Nationwide Series, where he has three victories and four runner-up finishes in the seven races leading up to Saturday night's race at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. The latest win came at Gateway International Raceway one week after the disappointment at Chicago.

“I need to become a better person in being able to pull our team together and lead these guys and, ultimately, lead them back into the Chase,” Busch said of his Cup effort, “[Chicago] was a bad week, but [we] went on into Gateway and ran solid up there and we won that one. Hopefully, we can get back to some good ways here.”

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service


Tagged as: Joe Gibbs , Kyle Busch , Toyota

Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Racing   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, poses in Victory Lane with the trophy after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 Toyota No. 1 For Everyone Sales Event Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS races to a third-place finish Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS won the race and Jimmie Johnson driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished second. (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS gets the chequered flag as he crosses the finish line Sunday, March 30, 2014, winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Chevrolet finished first, second and third in the race. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS (left) battles Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Busch won the race. Johnson finished second.  (Photo by HHP/Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Racing Chevrolet SS celebrates Sunday, March 30, 2014 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. Chevrolet finished first, second and third in the race. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, applies the winner sticker in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with his girlfriend Patricia Driscoll after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, races to the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field to the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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