Busch Battles Back, Earns Top-10 at Talladega

The Haas Automation/Monster Energy Driver Finishes Sixth

Date: May 7, 2017
Event: Geico 500 (Round 10 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (55 laps/55 laps/78 laps)
Start/Finish: 15th/6th (Running, completed 191 of 191 laps)
Point Standing: 15th (227 points, 201 out of first)
Race Winner: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford) in overtime

Stage 1 Recap (Ended on Lap 55):

  • Kurt Busch started 15th, finished 15th.
  • The Haas Automation/Monster Energy driver battled a loose-handling condition at the beginning of the stage.
  • He raced as high as third on lap 44 working with teammate Clint Bowyer and utilizing the inside lane.
  • Busch visited pit road at the conclusion of Stage 1 for four tires, right-rear adjustments, tape and air pressure adjustments to correct his loose-handling condition.

Stage 2 Recap (Ended on Lap 110):

  • Started 14th, finished seventh.
  • The Haas Automation/Monster Energy driver raced consistently inside the top-10 for the first half of Stage 2.
  • He reported a loose-handling condition during the lap-82 caution period. The team pitted from the fourth position for adjustments.
  • Busch was able to work his way through the middle lane to finish Stage 2 in the seventh spot, earning four bonus points.
  • He visited pit road at the conclusion of Stage 2 to take four tires and fuel and chassis adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Ended on Lap 191):

  • Started seventh, finished sixth.
  • The Haas Automation/Monster Energy driver pitted under green on lap 150 for four tires and fuel.
  • Crew chief Tony Gibson called Busch in during the lap 160 caution period for four tires and fuel. Busch restarted in the 23rd spot.
  • Busch’s dexterity and the guidance of spotter Tony Raines allowed him to avoid the majority of the 18-car accident on lap 169. His Ford Fusion received light body damage that the crew was able to repair during the caution period.
  • Busch battled back in the closing laps of the race to finish sixth.

Notes:

  • Busch earned his fifth top-10 of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
  • It was his 18th top-10 finish at Talladega Superspeedway in 33 starts at the Alabama track.
  • Busch finished seventh in Stage 2 to earn four bonus points.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 33 laps.
  • A total of 23 drivers finished on the lead lap.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I felt like we had a nice bit of strength today. It was good to come back to a restrictor-plate race and battle and defend what we did in Daytona. We got sixth today. Had a really good run with (Jamie) McMurray down the back straightaway, and I thought we were going to do some great things coming to the front straightaway. We just didn’t keep that draft with him. The 43 behind us did what he had to do to advance himself. I would have done the same thing as him, go to the inside and gain spots when you don’t have a chance to win. Awesome day for Ford and the way that (Ricky) Stenhouse won and how all of us worked together. It’s good teamwork for the Blue Oval.”

Next Up:
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Go Bowling 500 on Saturday, May 13 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.

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