Busch needed four extra laps, but held off Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick in a green-white-checker finish Sunday to capture his fourth victory inarow at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Rounding out the top 5 was Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin.
“Being away for 11 weeks, it was tough. It was pretty hard times,” Busch said. “It was tough to fight through all those things that I had to go through, Samantha had to go through while she was pregnant. She was helping me. All the steps that we went through to get back into the race car were quite challenging.
“But once we’ve been back, I felt like I just continued right on my stride. This has been a phenomenal return. I won’t say phenomenal year because it was a dismal year to start, but I guess I’ll take that 11-week vacation any year if it’s going to look like this.”
Busch know has a very memorable Brickyard victory to add to his win total. Busch,who also won the Xfinity race Saturday at Indianapolis, has moved 23 points away from cracking the top 30 in points.
Roger Penske was unable to capture his first Brickyard 400 win when driver Joey Logano finished second to Busch.
“Geez, I guess Kyle’s back,” Daytona 500 winner Logano said. “It’s just so frustrating running second at the Brickyard. Second hurts.”
Clint Bowyer lost control of his car on a restart with 111 laps to go and crashed, which caused Jeff Gordon to spin and wreck in his final Brickyard start. He lost five laps as a result and ended up having to go to the garage for repairs. Gordon made it back out to salvage some points, a crushing blow in his pursuit of a Chase for the Sprint Cup championship berth. Gordon is winless in his final full season and will need a checkered flag over the final six races before the cutoff to make the 16-driver field.
Two-time Brickyard winner Tony Stewart was strong early but strategy backfired and he finished 28th.