|Date: April 8, 2018
Event: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Round 7 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/7th (Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
Point Standing: 8th (224 points, 92 out of first)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):
● Kurt Busch started first, finished third and scored eight bonus points.
● The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford pitted on lap 44 for four tires and fuel as Busch ran in fifth. He said the car was a bit loose.
● Busch said on lap 78 that he was a little tight in turns one and two and then a little loose in turns three and four.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):
● Started third, finished second and scored nine bonus points.
● Pitted on lap 86 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
● When Busch pitted on lap 129 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment, he came in third and left in first.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-334):
● Busch started third finished seventh.
● The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford pitted on lap 163 for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
● Busch pitted on lap 233 for four tires and fuel.
● On lap 290, while running sixth, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel.
● When a caution for Ryan Newman’s accident on lap 305 came out, because Busch had pitted and the cycle was not yet complete, he was one lap down, despite being in eighth. He took the wave-around to get his lap back, but other teams had fresher tires, so he was only able to get up to seventh.
● This was Busch’s third top-10 of 2018.
● Busch scored his 18th top-10 in 31 career Cup Series starts at Texas.
● Busch finished third in Stage 1 to earn eight bonus points and second in Stage 2 to earn an additional nine bonus points.
● Busch led three times for 40 laps to bring his laps-led total at Texas to 335.
● Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 to score his 44th career Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his third at Texas. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was .300 of a second.
● There were eight caution periods for a total of 48 laps.
● Only 10 of the 37 drivers in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 finished on the lead lap.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I’m really proud of these guys and the effort that we made today. We had really good speed. We didn’t have the whole package. We’d lose the front on restarts or lose the rear. We’re just trying to find that happy medium. We should have pitted with 12 laps on our tires, because the restart after that was treacherous for us, and we lost all of our track position. So we got bottled up into seventh, and that’s where we finished.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City 500 on April 15 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX TV, PRN and SiriusXM Radio.