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Talladega win continues No. 8 team’s surge for Richard Childress Racing

Kyle Busch earns his second win of the season, avoiding a wreck on the final lap to claim victory at Talladega Superspeedway.

TALLADEGA, Ala. — More than a quarter of a century after its last Cup championship, Richard Childress Racing looks to become one of the prominent Cup teams again.

For much of the 2000s, Richard Childress Racing has been a legacy team in the Cup Series, its glory days dating to the 1980s and ‘90s when Dale Earnhardt won six of his seven Cup championships. Earnhardt’s last title in 1994 also is RCR’s last Cup crown.

Not since Ryan Newman’s runner-up finish in 2014 — despite not winning a race that season — has a Richard Childress Racing driver finished in the top 10 in points in Cup.

Kyle Busch, who already has two wins for his new team, could change that this season.

“Racing is like life,” car owner Richard Childress said Busch’s win Sunday at Talladega. “There’s peaks and valleys. When you get in on a peak, it’s harder to stay there. You got to be prepared when you’re at the top. We’ve been there.

“We’ve also been in the valley, the very bottom. You got to work harder and have the right drive and emotion to put you up to the top. That’s what we’ve worked hard to get there.”

Last season saw RCR’s Cup operation win four races — its most series wins since Kevin Harvick won four races in 2013, his final season with the organization.

Busch’s Talladega win marked his second win of the season and the fifth victory for the No. 8 team in the last 29 races — which includes three wins by Tyler Reddick with that team last year. No other Cup team has won as many races in that span.

While both Reddick and Busch are lauded for their talent, it still takes a team to give those drivers a chance to win. Crew chief Randall Burnett has handled the transition from Reddick to Busch well.

“Everybody’s really dedicated,” Burnett said of the No. 8 team’s success. “Everybody wants to come out and win races. Everybody works hard. They pull their weight. They take their responsibility for their part in it. It just makes a great team.

“Obviously we’ve been fortunate enough to have two very talented drivers. Tyler is an incredible talent. Now we got Kyle. His résumé speaks for itself.

“Just very fortunate to have those kind of caliber of drivers drive the car, and for our team to stay close-knit and work as hard as they do. It’s been great.”

Most wins in the last 29 Cup races (since Road America 2022)

5 wins — No. 8 Richard Childress Racing (Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch)

4 wins — No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing (Christopher Bell)

4 wins — No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports (Kyle Larson)

3 wins — No. 22 Team Penske (Joey Logano)

3 wins — No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports (Chase Elliott)

2 wins — No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing (Kevin Harvick)

2 wins — No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports (William Byron)

2 wins — No. 45 23XI Racing (Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick)


Chase Briscoe’s fourth-place finish proved painful Sunday.

Briscoe ran his first race since surgery last week to have pins placed in his broken left middle finger. He broke the finger in a dirt late model race earlier this month.

Asked how his finger was after Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, Briscoe said “not good.

“It’s weird, the last two weeks I’ve had absolutely zero issues (with the finger). With the pins in there, it’s like any time anything touches one of those pins, it just is excruciating pain.

“I was literally screaming in the car at some points because it just hurts so bad.”

Briscoe said he might have to change the splint on his left middle finger.

“In the past, I’ve kind of had two splints, one on top (of the finger), one on the bottom, and I think I just need to go to one on the bottom now because that one on top, I hit that pin a lot,” he said.

Briscoe said he needs to be more careful with the finger leading into this weekend’s race at Dover “because it was definitely an issue (at Talladega).”

Jeb Burton’s Xfinity win Saturday marked his second career series win and gave car owner Jordan Anderson his first NASCAR victory.

That it came at Talladega made the moment even more special for Anderson.

Last October, Anderson left the track in a medical helicopter after suffering second- and third-degree burns in an incident in the Truck race.

Anderson was running fourth on Lap 19 of that race when smoke and flames started shooting through the truck after a cut in the oil line.

The heat was so intense that Anderson looked to bail out of the truck as it continued to move but stayed inside it before it hit the inside wall. Anderson then exited the vehicle.

He suffered third-degree burns on his right arm and neck. He had second-degree burns elsewhere.

This past weekend was Anderson’s first time back at the track since that incident.

He said memories flooded back after landing at the airport next to the track last weekend. After he was released from the hospital last year, he went to that airport to get on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s plane to return to North Carolina.

“I kind of had a little moment, just taking it all in, it’s like, ‘Wow, all that we’ve been through with that,’” Anderson said. “I’m usually pretty tough. Growing up, I broke bones, knocked my teeth out in BMX, doing crazy stuff. That was a lot of pain (last year), emotional and physical, to go through all that stuff.”