"It was a game-changer," Busch said.
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Kurt Busch was upset -- understandably so.
A four-tire pit stop under caution on Lap 158 of Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway -- with most of his rivals making quicker stops for two tires -- dropped the driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet from sixth place to 14th for a crucial restart on Lap 162.
With a Chase spot on the line, and his chief rivals for a berth in NASCAR's postseason ahead of him in the running order, Busch took matters into his own hands as soon as the green flag waved.
"I was all fired up," Busch said after the race. "We were running 14th. (Martin) Truex was ahead of us. (Brad) Keselowski was ahead of us. (Greg) Biffle was ahead of us (Kasey); Kahne was ahead of us.
"You can't run 14th and gain on guys. And I had a restart where the seas parted, and I went to the high side and we got a lot of positions on that one restart. So, we'll just keep plugging away. We've got three (races) to go (before the Chase) and we're in the mix."
With a breathtaking move to the outside, Busch gained eight positions on the restart lap and was back in sixth place by the time he reached the start/finish line. He parlayed that gain into a third-place finish and jumped from 11th to ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
"It was a game-changer," Busch said of his bold move on the restart. "That one moment was our race."
By Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service