NASCAR

Kyle Busch: JGR moving past troubles

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Rea White

Rea White has been covering NASCAR full time since 1998. She has won awards from press agencies in Alabama and North Carolina and formerly served as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Follow her on Twitter.

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MARTINSVILLE, Va.

Kyle Busch was the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver not to have an engine issue last weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

Joey Logano made an engine change prior to last Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race, a move that by the sport's rules forced him to the rear of the field for the start. Then Denny Hamlin had a setback during the race after an engine failed while he was running among the leaders.

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The organization has faced some sort of engine issue during each race weekend this season.

Friday at Martinsville Speedway, though, Busch said he felt like the issues had been handled.

He didn’t want to go into specifics of the problem, but said he has paid attention to it as he does to any issue with the car. Still, he seems confident that the problem will not be repeated in the coming weeks.

“I do ask what happened because I am kind of intrigued by all aspects of the car and trying to figure out ways to make it better,” he said. “I’ve heard a little bit about the problems that we’ve had this weekend. I know there were some valve issues and things like that. I don’t want to elaborate too much on it. It’s something that at least we know what happened and where the source of the problem is. Anytime that you can figure all that out, you’re moving forward."

Busch said his engine issue at Las Vegas was different.

“For us, it was like my bottom-end issue that we had at Las Vegas — that was catastrophic failure," he said. "We don’t know what happened, so we haven’t been able to diagnose that, but we haven’t had any of those in so long that we don’t know if it was just a part malfunction or something that we missed or what. We already found the source of last week’s issues with both Denny and Joey, so we feel pretty confident that we’re heading in the right direction with that stuff.”

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JGR lost an engine dyno machine to a fire during the offseason as well. Busch didn’t blame that for any of the problems the team is facing, but did admit that dealing with less has been a hardship on a team.

“We do have a lot of support still through the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) guys out in Costa Mesa, Calif. They’re doing a lot of stuff," Busch said. "They’re doing a lot of testing. We work hand in hand together. They do a lot of stuff for us, and we do some stuff for them and vice-versa all of the time.

“I don’t think that it’s necessarily a huge issue. It would definitely be better so we could have all of our resources back up and running to an optimum and trying to move along with where we are at.”

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