Haas Automation/Monster Energy Driver Battles Ill-Handling Racecar
Date: March 26, 2017
Event: Auto Club 400 (Round 5 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California (2-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Start/Finish: 15th/24th (Running, completed 201 of 202 laps)
Point Standing: 14th (118 points, 125 out of first)
Race Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing in overtime (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
- Kurt Busch started 15th, finished 24th.
- Battled a loose-handling condition on corner entry and exit and was tight through the middle for much of the stage.
- Made contact with the wall, resulting in cosmetic damage to the right-side of his Ford Fusion.
- Lost a lap to the leader when he visited pit road under green-flag conditions on lap 33 for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
- Visited pit road at the conclusion of Stage 1 to take four tires, fuel and a right-front shock adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
- Started 22nd, finished 25th.
- Battled a tight-handling condition through the middle and loose off the corners for much of the stage.
- Lost a second lap to the leader on lap 110.
- Visited pit road at the conclusion of Stage 2 to take four tires, fuel and front shock and chassis adjustments.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):
- Started 31st, finished 24th.
- Continued to battle handling woes that limited his ability to gain position.
- Took the wave-around when the caution flag waved on lap 179 to get one of his laps back.
- Busch made his 24th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Auto Club Speedway.
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Martinsville 500 on Sunday, April 2 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.