The two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion wasn’t shy to criticize the new practice format this year for being too short and wasting resources at Fontana on Saturday during a interview.
Last season, Busch had his worst campaign in eight years, finishing ninth in the Cup Series standings with only a couple of wins. His lowest win total since 2014 when he won just a single time.
Kyle Busch say it was no mystery why he struggled during that period, suggesting that without regular practice since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, drivers were forced to use the early portion of a race as practice.
“Absolutely, I know what I’m capable of and what Adam [Stevens] and our team can do,” Busch told Beyond the Flag in 2020. “It’s certainly been frustrating and wish we had just a little bit of practice to be able to work out some of the things. But that’s not the case right now. I know everyone is working as hard as they can right now and we’ll keep digging.”
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This week heading into the Cup Series race at Fontana, Kyle Busch along with other drivers met the media before practice and qualifying.
On the 15 minutes of practice, Kyle Busch says he wishes teams could work on their cars after qualifying — even if that means start at the rear —but that is him in “fantasy land.” pic.twitter.com/1TMLzxWkdG
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 26, 2022
“You’re basically getting a gist of what your car is, and an idea because, even if you get 15 minutes practice and you qualify and you qualify terrible, you can’t take it to the garage and strip it apart and fix it. You got what you got,” Busch said. “I don’t know. I think we’re wasting a set of tires and gas with as short as it is, and then not being able to work on it. If we had the 15 minutes and we went straight into qualifying, great, no problem. Okay. I’m good with that.
“But if we all wanted to take it back to the garage and work on it overnight in order to fix our issues, you know, me being able to talk to the crew chief, talk about what it’s doing, what it’s not doing and what I need it to do better and all that. And then we sort of go through our simulation or go through ideas and concepts of what to do, what to try, what to better for the next day. Then you rebuild your car and you go to the tail of the field and you start the race wherever you start the race after rebuilding it overnight. That’s not the system we’re in. That’s not the sandbox we got. So I’m in fantasy land.”
Busch has amassed seven top-three finishes in his last nine Cup Series starts in Fontana, a 77.8% podium rate that includes three victories and eight top 10s in a span that dates back to 2011.