NASCAR takeaways: Kyle Busch earns first RCR win; Chase Elliott makes progress

FONTANA, Calif. — Kyle Busch wanted solely two races within the 2023 season to show that he can win a race at Richard Childress Racing.

Busch, who spent the earlier 15 seasons at Joe Gibbs Racing earlier than not coming to phrases final 12 months and touchdown at RCR, led the ultimate 21 laps to seize the ultimate race on the 2-mile oval at Auto Club Speedway.

The observe is about to be closed for not less than two years as it’s reconfigured right into a half-mile. Busch in all probability is sorry to see it shut.

Busch known as it a “phenomenal” victory as he gained for the fifth time on the observe as he crossed the end line forward of Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez and Kevin Harvick.

 [Can Kyle Busch break RCR’s title drought? Richard Childress has no doubt]

“I’ve been with a lot of great people that have given me a lot of great opportunities in my career, so it’s awesome to be able to reward them,” Busch stated. 

Takeaways from Fontana:

Busch will get asphalt win

The win was Busch’s first victory in his final 29 begins and his first win on pavement since June 2021 at Pocono.

His solely 2022 victory got here on the Bristol dust, the place he took benefit of Chase Briscoe and Tyler Reddick tangling on the ultimate lap and rushing previous each of them within the closing turns.

So you might say this was a very long time coming.

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“I never doubted myself, but sometimes you do,” Busch stated. “You kind of get down on it, you wonder what’s going on and what’s happening and you put yourself in a different situation and you’re able to come out here and reward your guys.’

Busch gets first win at RCR

Busch gets first win at RCR

Kyle Busch stated Sunday’s win at Auto Club Speedway was one of the vital rewarding of his profession.

Elliott Solid Second

Chase Elliott gained 5 races final 12 months and even made the championship spherical of the playoffs, however he was not robust late within the 12 months on the intermediate tracks, as he was twenty first at Las Vegas and 14th at Homestead.

He would not proclaim himself as having a full rebound with a second-place end Sunday however not less than he might smile about it.

“It’s hard to say after one day, right?” Elliott stated. “I was definitely proud of our whole group for sticking together. We definitely ran poorly those last couple of months. … I felt like we played more defense than we were on offense. 

“So I hope this development continues. We’ll need to get to another tracks and see how we stack up.”

Elliott stated that “I would as nicely have stayed dwelling for the autumn Las Vegas.” He now will get to see the gains the team made as the series heads there next week.

“We’re prepared for the grind,” Elliott said. “I’m trying ahead to it.”

Elliott content material with 2nd

Elliott content with 2nd

Chase Elliott discusses his second-place end behind Kyle Busch at Fontana.

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Stack Them Up

A wreck on a restart took out 4 vehicles and concerned a number of extra. It is uncommon to see within the Cup Series that accordion impact occur on a restart.

“I think the leader was just playing games, trying to prevent the runs coming from behind and they stopped in the middle of the restart zone [which] was right about where they should have been accelerating,” stated Aric Almirola, a kind of dissatisfied crash victims.

“It was just a huge accordion effect.  We were back in 16th, so everybody just started stacking up and you can’t stop on a dime.  It’s disappointing to get wrecked out of the race like that on a silly Mickey Mouse restart, but I should have known better.”

Added Ryan Preece: “It’s kind of stupid, to be honest with you on a professional level and we all wreck on a restart.”

Christopher Bell, who began on the pole, additionally was knocked out of the race. He wasn’t positive who accountable, however drivers have a tendency to put again behind the automotive in entrance of them to have some area to speed up and doubtlessly make a move.

“All it takes for guys laying back a little bit and then all of a sudden the further you get back in the field, you have a big run,” Bell stated.

As far because the chief at the moment, Joey Logano stated he wasn’t taking part in any video games. He stated NASCAR’s growing the restart zones at tracks by 50 p.c means he, because the chief, has more room to mash the gasoline — the chief restarts the race within the restart zone.

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Logano on restart wreck

Logano on restart wreck

Joey Logano stated the larger restart zone shall be tougher to anticipate with out getting in bother.

“Go back and look at the [telemetry] data — I didn’t do anything,” Logano stated. “I just rolled it and went late. Everyone is anticipating — that is part of the new restart zone. It is bigger. You can’t anticipate as much as you used to without getting in trouble.

“I went late within the zone as a result of the automotive inside me was laying again. I used to be ready for him to stand up subsequent to me earlier than I went. I did not brake-check anybody.”

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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