Busch finishes runner-up with impressive performance in backup car at Kansas
October 6, 2013
Kurt Busch and the single-car Furniture Row Racing team showed its strength Sunday, coming back from adversity to finish second in the Hollywood Casino 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Busch started the race from the rear of the field in a backup car due to his primary No. 78 Chevrolet suffering major damage in an accident during Saturday’s first practice session.
“Wow, what an unbelievable drive," said Busch, who trailed Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by 1.140 seconds. “We battled hard to come from 41st and did this in a backup car. I'm just so proud of this team, the way these guys have worked all year. They deserve a win and I am sorry I couldn't deliver for them today."
Busch added, “This team never quits and today was another prime example of how we fight back. Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and the team engineers made some great setup changes to the car after yesterday’s final practice. They also made great two-tire, four-tire calls during the race.”
The runner-up finish, which equals Busch’s best result of the season (he also finished second at Richmond in September), lifted the Furniture Row driver from ninth to seventh in the Chase point standings with six races remaining.
The finish was also Busch’s 10th top-five and 15th top10 after the 30th race of the season. It also marked his first career top-five at Kansas Speedway, which is known from a geographic standpoint as the home track for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing.
"Today is a small little victory in my own mind -- now I have a top-five at all the tracks," said Busch.
In the four Chase races, Busch has an average finish of 10.0.
“It was nice to come back with a strong result after slipping the past two weeks in New Hampshire (13th) and Dover (21st),” noted Busch, who started the Chase with a fourth-place result in Chicago.
It was apparent from the start of the 400-mile race at Kansas' 1.5-mile oval that Busch’s Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet was dialed for the 267-lap, 400-mile event.
Busch kept on creeping up on the field. He was positioned in 15th place by Lap 38 and cracked the top-10 on Lap 111. After the team’s final pit stop on Lap 229, Busch restarted 12th and then bolted forward in his flat-black Chevrolet.
“It was all about restarts and making sure that you gain spots, but it was treacherous, explained Busch. “The tires with the cool conditions today didn’t have the heat in them and you had to have a lot of give and take on restarts. It seemed like if somebody was right there on your outside it would make it where your car was on ice. If somebody was jacked up right behind you, your car was on ice. So, you had to give a lot on restarts and not take an inch. You had to give an inch.”
Following Harvick and Busch to the checkered flag with top-10 finishes were: Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola.
The next Sprint Cup race is Saturday night, Oct. 12 – the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.