today is Jun 08, 2023

John Harrelson/NKP/Motorsport Images

Kurt Busch told his team after the checkered flag in the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway it was all driver as to why they weren’t going to victory lane. Busch wound up second to Chase Elliott after having a shot at the win on the final restart with four laps to go.

“I let you guys down,” Busch said to the No. 45 team.

It was hardly a contest for the victory when the race restarted for the final time. On the outside lane, Elliott cleared Busch and then gapped him as the laps wound down.

“I got soft on him,” Busch said. “I should have been throwing some fenders and moving some momentum around. I didn’t stick with our strength. We didn’t have many strengths tonight; we just executed really well. The restarts were so-so and the long-run speed was good. I just needed to stick with our strength and I messed up.”

Staying out when the last caution flew with nine laps to go gave Busch a shot at a second win, moving him to the second position. He was one of nine drivers who chose track position over tires.

“We were going to stay out no matter what and I needed to start throwing fenders to move people around,” Busch said. “I didn’t get after it and I made too many mistakes and didn’t stick with our strength. I’m not going to say what our strength was, but we did a lot of things good.

“We didn’t have one exceptional item. We’re second with our Toyota Camry. I want to do it over, but you don’t get those at this elite level and Chase got the job done.”

Busch led the way for Toyota in a day the manufacturer dominated. Toyota drivers led 254 of 300 laps and Martin Truex Jr. swept the stages. Busch led three laps and was continually working his way toward the front.

“I want to thank all my guys at 23XI; we have a great group of guys and girls,” Busch said. “The way that we’re running, a second is cool, but we’re here for wins with the playoff situation. This Camry and all the TRD Camrys were awesome. I just hate it when we don’t get into victory lane and I was right there.”

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