Las Vegas Sun

December 20, 2014

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Observations from Sunday’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Kurt Busch’s rain-aided victory Sunday, which snapped a personal 29-race winless streak, could go a long way toward helping the No. 2 team turn around its season, but it would take a phenomenal run in the next nine races for Busch to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. …

Although Busch improved four spots in the points (from 22nd to 18th), he is 222 points out of 12th place with nine “regular-season” races remaining. …

If Kyle Busch is going to win a championship this season, he is going to have to keep his anger in check. His little run-in with Juan Montoya late in the race cost him about seven positions on the track and what could prove to be a valuable 21 points. …

By finishing 12th Sunday, Jeff Burton kept his streak intact of finishing in the top 15 in every race this season. He trails Kyle Busch by 67 points in the Sprint Cup standings. …

Michael Waltrip’s second-place finish Sunday was his first top-five showing since he took fifth at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2005 while he was driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. …

It’s too bad Patrick Carpentier couldn’t have followed his pole-winning performance Friday with a better finish than 31st Sunday. The former open-wheel driver is one of the nicest guys in the Sprint Cup garage. …

I wonder how Toyota officials feel about that Armor All commercial in which Toyota driver Tony Stewart stares longingly at a shiny black Chevrolet Corvette. …

Prior to the start of the season, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas offered a prop bet on how the Miller Lite car, driven by Kurt Busch, would fare this year against the Budweiser car, driven by Kasey Kahne. The Miller Lite car was installed as an 8.5-position favorite over the Bud car. Through 17 races, Kahne (10th in points) is eight positions ahead of Busch in the Sprint Cup standings.

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