With his victory this past weekend at Kansas Speedway, Kyle Busch is now locked into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. If you don’t think that’s a load of pressure off Busch and the team beginning this weekend at Darlington, just ask first-year NASCAR Cup Series crew chief Ben Beshore.
“It’s a big deal to win,” said Beshore, who went to Victory Lane for the first time as crew chief for Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. “It’s a lot of pressure to win. We’re expected to win. When you’ve got a two-time champion like Kyle Busch, you expect to go out there and run up front in the top five every race and just be there at the end. So yeah, it was a big deal.
“And then the pressure being off for winning and locking ourselves in the playoffs there is huge. We can maybe experiment a little bit later in the season or just go for some more raw speed type stuff. But it was huge, and it’s a lot of pressure off, to be honest.”
Busch, however, is reluctant to breathe too easily. “We’ve got some work to do in order to keep the rear tires underneath me, and I feel like that’s the number one thing that our focus will be for going into Darlington,” he said. “It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be slippery, it’s going to be slick. That place is always a handful. … It’s going to be a handful for sure.”