Rick Hendrick: Insider’s outpouring of support for Michael Jordan prodigy adds to Kyle Busch’s pain

Richard Childress Racing has the perfect solution to bring back the Intimidator’s glory days. Signing the winningest racer of the modern generation. Kyle Busch has stayed true to his reputation and quickly brought them three wins this year. But as they dreamed of a seventh Cup championship in nearly three decades, Busch’s postseason performance gave them a rude awakening.

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The No. 8 rider now sits at the bottom of the 12-strong standings for this round, facing 11 formidable defenders on his way to the goal post. Among them is former RCR driver Tyler Reddick. Kyle Busch replaced Redick at the end of last season, a decision that ultimately benefited the legendary Michael Jordan.

Hendrick Motorsports insider leaves only option open for Roval’s Kyle Busch


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As the championship contenders agonized over the playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway, one driver scored a victory at the track earlier this year. There’s no denying that Kyle Busch’s average score on the hot track wasn’t great, averaging just 20 points. But those concerns were alleviated when he won the Geico 500 in April. NASCAR analysts are betting on three of the top five drivers in this weekend’s race. That includes the driver currently firmly in the playoff picture, Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron. The No. 24 driver finished second at Talladega, while Busch started and finished 25th. Rick Hendrick’s former team chief foresees difficulties for the veteran racer.

Steve Letarte has serious concerns about the almost insurmountable 26-point gap between RCR riders. Especially considering the windy terrain at this weekend’s Charlotte Roval Knockout. Although three other drivers joined Busch below the cutoff line, Letarte spelled out a key difference between them.

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For example, both Jordan 23XI Racing drivers struggled below the cut line. However, No. 23 driver Bubba Wallace could explore the option of accumulating stage points to qualify. No. 45 Tyler Reddick only has two points of handicapping and road course expertise as an added advantage. On the other hand, the only recourse available to Kyle Busch is to win.

Letart emphasized, “I think Kyle Busch at the bottom has to be thinking, has to win. There are too many names above him to find 26 points. But then you start looking above him. Bubba Wallace is probably thinking, Side pointing the road in. Maybe that’s not a win. I want everyone to be scared of Tyler Reddick. The first driver to go under the tangent. This is a driver who shows real speed on a road course. Maybe Not specifically to Roval, but at some point you would think that would have to trickle down to Roval with the speed he found on the road races.”

Watch this story: Frustrated Bubba Wallace drops two-word confession as Michael Jordan loses crown to Rick Hendrick

Interestingly, Richard Childress replaced Tyler Reddick with Busch late last year precisely to take advantage of the playoff opportunity.

Unfortunately, Rick Hendrick may have to walk back his ambitious comments from earlier this year

Kyle Busch’s racing prowess and numerous accolades are truly undeniable. But there was renewed interest in the former Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s performance this year after he left his long-time team to join RCR. His No. 8 car (then driven by Reddick) won three races last year, two of which were road races. Instead, Busch counted the Bristol Dirt Race as his only win of the season and finished 13th in the final standings, one spot above Reddick.


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There’s no doubt that three wins this year overshadow that performance, but Jordan’s impeccable spotting of Redick in the upcoming games is a concern, and Busch’s inability to recreate his regular-season talent after qualifying. The No. 45 driver can record a win and a runner-up finish in the same playoff race where Busch posted a single top-10 finish. At this juncture, it would be prudent to recall the words of owner Richard Childress himself. After Busch’s win at Auto Club Speedway this year, Childress was happy to emphasize the reasons for their alliance with the No. 8 driver.

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I admit, “Who wouldn’t want Kyle Busch driving for him, he’s won over 200 races and won two championships. He’s definitely a champion and our goal this year is to pursue the championship. But you know… We don’t have all the sponsorships put together. But I’m willing to give whatever it takes to make it happen.”


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How will Bush meet the 78-year-old veteran’s expectations? Will Redick’s road record bring him a victory or defeat against his opponent?

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