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Dave Rogers' first race with Kyle Busch, well, it had its up and downs, to put it mildly....

   Crew chief Dave Rogers had the Texas 500 car perfect for his debut with Kyle Busch -- the fastest car in the field. But speed eats gas sometimes, and they came up dry at the end (Photo: Toyota Motorsports)

   By Mike Mulhern

   FORT WORTH, Texas
   It was almost the perfect debut for Dave Rogers as Kyle Busch's crew chief.
   Right up till the final moments of Sunday's finish-under-the-lights Texas 500 Rogers and Busch had the car to beat.
   They led 232 of the 334 laps….and then had to pit – like virtually everyone else in the field – in the final minutes for a splash of gas.
   That stop, with three laps to go while leading, cost them the race, when brother Kurt Busch managed to wring just a little more gas out of Pat Tryson's Dodge to finish the evening without that extra stop, to win the eighth race of the championship chase.
   While Kurt Busch was celebrating with that brace of six-shooters the winner here always gets, Kyle Busch was making a fast getaway, leaving Rogers to explain things.
   "We're disappointed," Rogers said. "This team deserved to be in victory lane. I thought we had one of the best cars throughout the entire race….but it just didn't work out that way.  We were a little short on fuel. 
    "We had Kyle back down, and we thought we'd saved enough fuel. But we missed the numbers somewhere, or we didn't get it full, or we didn't pick up all we could pick up. 
    "I can't explain why we ran out.  We'll take it back to the shop and have a look at it."
    Still, it was quite an impressive first race on the pit box for Rogers. "Mike Ford (who is teammate Denny Hamlin's crew chief) and Greg Zipadelli (who is teammate Joey Logano's crew chief) helped us out a lot," Rogers said. 
   "We unloaded with the same set-up Denny did, and worked on it from there.  I think we learned a lot. 
   "But right now it's hard to think coherently because of the disappointment….
    "I thought for sure we were going to make it, until he came off turn four in the final lap (before having to suddenly hit pit road for gas).  I don't know if we didn’t get the car full or the fuel cell just didn't pick up what we thought it could…but we'd had several green flag runs this race, so we were pretty confident we knew what we had for fuel mileage. 
    "We're out of the chase and we're not points racing, so we didn't really have anything to lose. If we would have pitted, Kurt certainly would have beaten us.  Our only shot at winning was to stay out. 
    "So we gambled. Sometimes when you gamble you lose. 
    "We lost today. But we had a really fast car."
    And Kyle?
   "He's frustrated," Rogers said.  "He didn't say nothing (before leaving the track). 
    "He said we were out of fuel, and after the race he took his helmet off and went to his motor home and calmed down. 
    "I think he handled it well. It's tough: You lead all these laps, and he could have gone for the clean sweep this weekend -- win all three in a row. 
    "He deserved to win all three in a row. And to get beat, it's tough."

Rogers made a BIG mistake. He

Rogers made a BIG mistake. He missed the numbers somewhere. Well he is being paid to direct the race. Mark & others had good finishes with slower cars. Kyle is a great driver with a fast car. He should have been told to run hard, put a lot of cars a lap down, then splash & go.

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