8 positions of the top-10 were dominated by two teams at ISM Raceway
8 of the top-10 positions were controlled by the four-car operations of Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. In addition, Martin Truex Jr finished 5th in what is essentially another JGR car.
Harvick went on to win his 3rd straight MENCS event. Kyle Busch went on to claim his second runner-up finish, in a row. But, ISM Raceway was domination both of these teams, all day.
Does that mean those two teams are the teams to beat?
“Statistically, by the stats of today, I guess so. All in all, the guys at Stewart-Haas have done a fantastic job, late last year, of finding some speed,” Kyle Busch said from the ISM Raceway media center.
We felt like it kinda slowed our stuff down a little bit.
“The #4 car was fast in the final race. They just kinda picked up where they left off. With some of the rule changes that happened over the off season — We felt like it kinda slowed our stuff down a little bit. It didn’t slow theirs down, near as much.”
Most notably, NASCAR has mandated the Radiator, oil cooler and splitter for 2018. This was designed to take downforce away from all teams.
In addition, NASCAR launched a new inspection system that requires every inch of the car to be within a tolerance. There was a little more wiggle room before regarding bodies and rear end setup. That has all but been removed with the new optical scanning station.
“We’re playing a little bit of a catch up game to see where we need to make improvements, in order to get our stuff going better. We’re a little bit off right now, but we’re finishing 2nd each week.”
Kyle Busch finished 2nd yesterday at ISM Raceway. He also finished 2nd at the previous event, Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I don’t think anybody’s got anything for Harvick. Considering that we got our butt beat so bad last week and just got beat a little bit this week.”
Would you rather race Harvick or a teammate for the win?
“Anytime you race a teammate you gotta race him clean. At least I could lay a fender to the #4, probably. Teammates are a lot harder to race and you got respect them a little bit more.”
ISM Raceway Results
1. Kevin Harvick (SHR)
2. Kyle Busch (JGR)
3. Chase Elliott
4. Denny Hamlin (JGR)
5. Martin Truex Jr (JGR Kinda)
6. Clint Bowyer (SHR)
7. Aric Almirola (SHR)
8. Daniel Suarez (JGR)
9. Erik Jones (JGR)
10. Kurt Busch (SHR)
Related: ISM Raceway: Full Results – MENCS
Related: ISM Raceway: Starting lineup – MENCS