Just when it seemed things were headed in the right direction for Kyle Busch, everything fell apart.
Busch told reporters Friday at Kentucky Speedway his string of misfortune has been "frustrating beyond belief" and could only hope his luck would change soon.
After Busch's slow start to the 2012 NASCAR season, which saw him record only two top-10 finishes in the first seven races, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver rattled off five straight top-10s – including a win at Richmond.
It all was back on the right track for Busch, and the driver climbed from 13th to eighth in the Sprint Cup Series point standings.
Then his engines developed a nasty habit of blowing up before the end of the race. Boom, boom, boom. Just like that, three straight motor problems dropped Busch to 12th in points – which is where he remains with 10 races to go until the Chase field is set.
The engine failures have been "disheartening" and have "set us back a little bit," Busch said. JGR switched from in-house motors to Toyota Racing Development motors at the end of last season.
"Those guys need to work a little bit more and get going on the same page as the rest of us," Busch said.
He hasn't been the only TRD-powered driver with problems. Mark Martin has had three blown engines in 12 starts this season, most recently at Michigan; Clint Bowyer had engine trouble at Pocono but nursed it until the end of the race.
"Overall, I feel they've been doing a good job," Busch said. "We've been gaining power, and any time you gain power, you sacrifice a little durability. You have to take one with the other."
Busch said he's encouraged by his No. 18 team's ability to show speed, but said it's just a matter of finishing the races. With another win or a few top-five finishes, Busch could easily find himself back in a Chase spot.
He hopes a turnaround happens soon, he said, because "I haven't been this far back in a long time."