Saturday, October 10, 2009
Kyle Busch not 100 percent
But he's close.
Kyle Busch was feeling some flu-like symptoms on Friday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana and they have lingered through Nationwide Series qualifying and Cup Happy Hour today. Before qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Denny Hamlin took Busch's Nationwide Series car out for practice.
Busch qualified his own Cup car. He will start 19th. Not the best qualifying effort, but apparently Busch was fortunate to get in the car for the two qualifying laps.
“I’m not sure how he’s feeling," Hamlin said after Cup qualifying on Friday. "Obviously, if he's getting out of the car, he’s not feeling well at all. It was different. He obviously requires a whole lot different feel on a car than what I do. When I got in it, it didn't feel like a JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) Nationwide car at all -- it felt a lot different so it's definitely getting keen to his driving style."
Swapping seats is nothing new at Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin and Busch are teammates at the Cup level. Joey Logano and Busch have raced the Gibbs cars on the Nationwide level.
"We've been in that situation before, where I've needed Kyle and Joey to kind of step in when that kind of stuff happens and that's the good thing about it though, that we've got good enough talent in our teammates that we can rely on them," Hamlin said on Friday. "I'm sure he'll be fine for tomorrow and if he can’t we'll be there and ready."
Busch was fine enough to put his Nationwide car on the front row for today's Nationwide race. He will start second, next to Logano, his teammate and the pole winner.
Busch leads the Nationwide Series standings.
In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Happy Hour practice, Busch was 25th and apparently still a race-time decision if he will start the Nationwide Series race.
Photo: Kyle Busch (18) and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano (20) will start 1-2 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Logano won the Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway last weekend. Busch finished second. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)