Busch says that while he is taking his second consecutive engine-related DNF in stride, the issue is a concern for him and his M&M’s Toyota team.
|Busch: "Nothing we can do."|
“It is,” said Busch this week, “but unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ve got to try to move on, move forward and get past it. We had an engine issue at Dover and thought that was the worst of it. We used a different (engine) package at Pocono, but unfortunately had something else happen there. It was two different issues, but they both happened to us.
“It took us out of two strong runs,” said Busch. “We’ve had some strong showings of late, getting ourselves back into the Top-10 in points. But now we’re back to 12th place and in a Wildcard slot.
“I was a big supporter of the Joe Gibbs Racing engine shop and (chief engine builder) Mark Cronquist,” said Busch. “We ran their engines all last year, then had two engine failures the same weekend in Phoenix. We swapped over and ran the TRD engine at Homestead last year, and we’ve been TRD ever since.
“Those guys (at TRD) do a good job, they work really hard out there,” he said. “It’s just frustrating when you have these occurring issues and you can’t figure out exactly what happened. It seemed like we knew what the Dover (issue) was, and then we had a different issue at Pocono. At least we kept the Pocono engine in one piece, so they could take it back to the shop, run it on the dyno and try to figure out what’s going on.”
Busch said there is no option to switch back to JGR engines, since the team now builds powerplants only for the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.
“The most frustrating part about it is that my guys work so hard and do such a great job,” he said. “This sets us back. All the hard work we’ve done the last 5-6 weeks that got us back in the Top-10 in points and feeling comfortable about how our year was going; it’s not necessarily thrown out the window, but we’ve set ourselves further back than we want to be. We’ve got a bit of a hole to dig ourselves out of.
“We know we’re a good team, and we can run strong enough to get ourselves back in the Top-10. Hopefully we can win a couple more races, and with two or three wins, you pretty much guarantee yourself a Wild Card spot. But we’d like to be in the Top-10, (to get the) bonus points for those wins.
Busch said he looks forward to a stretch of tracks in the next few weeks that he has performed well on in the past, including this weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway, where he won a year ago.Photo Credit: si.com