Race Weekend Central

Kyle Busch Frustrated with Aero Blocking After 4th Place at Dover

DOVER, Del. – Welcome back to the NASCAR Cup Series top five, Kyle Busch.

A fourth-place finish at Dover Motor Speedway on Sunday (April 28) gave Busch and the No. 8 team their first top five since the now-iconic three-wide photo finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch took the bronze in that race, his only top five of the season until Dover.

Busch’s weekend got off to a great start when he qualified on the pole for the race, his first since last season’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway (a race he ended up winning). He led 34 laps en route to scoring stage points in both stages.

See also
Denny Hamlin Holds Off Kyle Larson for Dover Win

For the large majority of the race, Busch never left the top five and kept the leaders in his sights. On the final green flag pit stop, Busch had a good enough stop to potentially contend for the win before a caution came out in the middle of the cycle.

“If we could’ve maintained third, […] we might have had something for the front two,” Busch said. “But that wasn’t to be. We had to come back down and restart eighth.”

On the final run, Busch surged from eighth to fourth, where he would stay for the rest of the day. The Las Vegas native thought that he could have finished better for the way his day gone.

“Could’ve been one spot better,” Busch said. “But still not a win.”

While the finish was much needed for Busch and his season, he was still frustrated with the amount of aero blocking that occurred, especially late in the race.

Despite its presence throughout NASCAR’s history, aero blocking has become a big issue as of late. Recently, it seems that a lot more races and positions have been decided by drivers taking lines that disrupt the air of the driver challenging them for position.

The Dover race itself was decided by Denny Hamlin using aero blocking effectively to hold off a hard-charging Kyle Larson in the final laps.

Busch encountered two distinct instances of aero blocking on his final charge through the field. First, he was held up by Noah Gragson while racing the No. 10 for position.

When asked if it was due to aero blocking, Busch simply replied, “Yup.”

Later, Busch found frustration in the form of his ex-teammate Martin Truex Jr. while attempting to pass the No. 19 for third. The aero blocking worked for Truex, as he held off Busch for third, but KFB was none too pleased.

“The aero blocking is just so bad,” Busch said. “It’s so bad and everybody knows it and uses it as a defense item.

“We lost a straightaway to (Truex). That’s what frustrated me the most is, he was slower. He was slow and just would not give me an inch in order to be able to get by. I about wrecked us twice off of [turn] 2.”

Busch and his team will now try to build on the momentum heading to Kansas Speedway next Sunday (May 5), a track that has been hit-or-miss for the two-time Cup Series champion throughout his career. While Dover was a swing in the right direction, Busch believes that there’s still more work to be done.

“You’ve just got to keep working at it week-to-week,” Busch said. “It can be different every week, you know? I’m sure the [No.] 9 [of Chase Elliott] didn’t think they were capable or in a position that they were ready for a win yet, and they got one a couple weeks ago [at Texas Motor Speedway].”

“Just [got to] keep putting yourselves up front, in position.”

About the author

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. He is a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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6 Comments
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Bobby DK

Come on Kyle! Are you saying you never aero blocked another driver? You’re starting to sound like another Bubba. Sounds like a NASCAR air diffuser problem.

DoninAjax

I guess that is why there is a difference between catching and passing.

wildcatsfan2016

awww it breaks my heart.

Jeremy

Aero sensitivity in the cars has only been a thing since around the turn of the century, so aero blocking has been happening for 23 going on 24 years. You’d think Kyle would have enough experience with it to figure out how to make a pass.

Ron

Since when should a driver in 3rd place move over to allow a driver in 4th place to pass?

Lea Reedy

isn’t that what the spotters are used for? seems like if you got enough mirrors you don’t need the spotters except to keep you out of the wrecks…..

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