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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: Toyota , Kyle Busch , Joe Gibbs

Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch - Joe Gibbs Racing   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Cameron Hayley, driver of the #13 Cabinets by Hayley/The Carolina Nut Co. Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cameron Hayley, driver of the #13 Cabinets by Hayley/The Carolina Nut Co. Toyota, races with Erik Jones, driver of the #4 Toyota Toyota, during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30, 2015 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualifies for twelfth position Friday, August 21, 2015 for Saturday night`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Larson is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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