There are a number of brutal realities about NASCAR racing and two of them played prominently in the outcome of Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a race where Team Penske's Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano finished 1-2.
The first brutal reality is that in every race, one driver wins and everyone else loses.
The second is that you're only as good as your last race.
Just ask Las Vegas native Kyle Busch. Saturday at LVMS, Busch led 199 of 200 laps to drub the field in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
But in Sunday's main event, the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Busch went from leading with seven laps to go to finishing fourth behind the two Penske drivers and Jimmie Johnson, who just edged Busch at the checkered flag.
A big vibration in the front end of his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota meant Busch was unable to hang on for a weekend sweep.
Now a fourth-place finish is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but it was not the finish Busch wanted. Not at all, despite the fact that remains the series points leader and the only driver with top-five finishes in all three Cup points races this year.
Busch wanted to win and didn't, which by definition is a disappointment.
Still, Busch was comparatively upbeat afterward, given that he had fought with his JGR Cup car in practice earlier in the weekend.
"We struggled really, really bad all weekend, we were horrible," Busch said. "That's not at all where we should have finished considering how it started. It was a good day. It wasn't a win, but we were doing a good job doing what we need to do to keep top-fiving it and the wins will come."
Asked to grade his weekend, Busch gave a mixed review.
"If I were to grade our weekend, for progress it's an A-plus, but for being as bad as we were and ending up right there it would probably be a B or B-minus," he said.