Rain might impact Coke 600, but Kyle Busch still loves it


Kyle Busch has already won the Coca-Cola 600 and finished second in last year’s historic long race – and he even spent his Memorial Day Sundays as a kid rubbing his eyes to see the 400 laps of the biggest race of the year in North Carolina. .

And yet, all things considered, he could enter Sunday night a little blind.

The two-time Cup Series champion and driver with the most NASCAR-sanctioned wins enters Charlotte Motor Speedway with a new racing team at Richard Childress Racing following his public split with Joe Gibbs Racing in September. And even though the team has proven itself on intermediate tracks like Charlotte all season, Busch never raced on the Charlotte oval with his new team.

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Worse still: the threat of rain on Saturday could prevent him and his team from training.

“Certainly it could be a bit (a disadvantage),” Busch told reporters at the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center.

He added that he and his team, in the event of the rain being canceled during practice and Cup qualifying, would only have to rely on the information gathered by his Chevrolet teammate Kyle Larson during a test of tires at Charlotte Motor Speedway in March.

The good news?

Busch recently scored success in the NASCAR Crown Jewel Race. This success is up to six Top 10s (including victory in 2018) in the last six Coke 600s.

NASCAR driver Kyle Busch’s team rushes to change car tires during a pit stop in the 60th annual Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina on Sunday, May 26, 2019 Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

It also helps that he loves running.

“I love this race,” Busch said. “I remember watching this race as a kid when I was growing up. I may or may not have fallen asleep. It’s just very long. But it has the 600 mile story and man versus machine and all that kind of stuff. So the equipment of today is very different from the equipment of yesteryear.

He added: “There have been a few times here where you hit the 500 mile marker and you’re like, ‘Damn, there’s still 100 miles to go. It will carry you, for sure, if you are not made for it or ready for it. But this place has been really rough over the years and has regained a lot of character since repaving in 2006. It’s quite rough and bumpy so the 600 miles around here will definitely tire you out.

According to the local forecast, there is a 97% chance of rain on Saturday and an 85% chance on Sunday.

As well as missing Cup qualifying on Saturday, Busch could also miss the Xfinity Series race, which he is also competing in this weekend. The start time for the Xfinity Series race was pushed back an hour to 12 p.m. Saturday due to the threat of inclement weather.

“The mile-and-a-half thing, I feel like we’re really close,” Busch said of his No. 8 RCR team. “We’re right there. Kansas was a really good look for us. You know, I felt like we had a good Top 5, Top 3 in speed. And anything can happen at the end of these races, and you can fight for a win.

This story was originally published May 26, 2023 5:57 p.m.

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