Busch Finishes Seventh at Atlanta

Monster Energy/Haas Automation Driver Earns Second Top-10 of 2017

Date: March 5, 2017
Event: Folds of Honor 500 (Round 2 of 36)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile oval)
Format: 325 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/155 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th/7th (Running, completed 325 of 325 laps)
Point Standing: 2nd (86 points, 4 out of first)
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

  • Kurt Busch started 13th, finished 12th.
  • Ran as high as fourth, but handling that was tight entering the corners and loose exiting hindered his ability to stay up front.
  • Made a pit stop during green-flag conditions on lap 33 for four tires and fuel.
  • Visited pit road at the conclusion of Stage 1 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):

  • Started 15th, finished 12th.
  • Made a green-flag pit stop on lap 126 for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.
  • Struggled with a loose-handling condition entering and exiting the corners while tight in the banking.
  • Visited pit road at the conclusion of Stage 2 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-325):

  • Started 11th, finished seventh.
  • Struggled with a loose-handling condition entering and exiting the corners while tight in the banking.
  • Ran as high as fourth in the closing laps, but faded to seventh when the checkered flag waved.

Notes:

  • Stewart-Haas Racing is 1-2 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship standings. Kevin Harvick leads by four points over Busch.
  • This was Busch’s 12th top-10 finish in 26 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Atlanta, and it was his second straight top-10 this season. Busch won the season-opening Daytona 500.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“It seemed like the stages really caught other teams off guard. We did a middle-of-the-road approach. I liked it, because we didn’t quite have the speed in the car to attack for those points but didn’t want to sacrifice tires and be caught at the end with fresh tires. We managed the stages, were just missing the handle. The 4 car was insane how good they were. We were really loose in, really tight in the center and loose off. We just had a lack of grip. The pit crew got us toward the top-five and we hung on to seventh. Nothing spectacular today, just need to fix what we have going wrong.”

Next Up:
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX.

2017-03-06T19:33:54+00:00