Despite Bristol setback, Kurt Busch still in Chase hunt

Kurt Busch finished 31st due to a part failure early in the Irwin Tools Night Race.

BRISTOL, Tenn. – When the sheet metal carnage and dust settled at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night the outcome wasn’t as devastating in terms of Chase points for Kurt Busch, who finished 31st due to a part failure early in the Irwin Tools Night Race.

Kurt Busch, Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
Kurt Busch, Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

While leading the race, Busch reported a vibration problem and was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 77 of 500. He took four fresh tires but the problem persisted and was left with no other option but to bring his Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet behind the wall to replace the damaged hub in the right rear wheel assembly.

When Busch returned to action on the .533-mile oval, he was 27 laps down and in 41st place.

It appeared that the Furniture Row Racing driver, who came into the race ninth in Sprint Cup driver points was going to suffer a major setback in his quest to qualify for the Chase playoffs.

But as the race wore on, a number of other drivers in the Chase mix also experienced issues. The end result was that Busch dropped to 12th in the standings and is only six points out of 10th with two races remaining before the Chase field is set.

“We’re down, but we’re not out,” said Busch. “The end of the race we gained a bunch of points back with guys having trouble.”

Busch started the race from the outside pole and took the lead on Lap 23. He went on to lead the following 53 laps before experiencing the vibration problem in the right rear section of his No. 78 Chevy.

“We’re leading the race, walking the dog and the right rear is falling off,” stated Busch. “But you have to overcome the obstacles that come your way. My thoughts all through the race were that we just have to go to Atlanta and Richmond and win them both.”

The Bristol race winner was Matt Kenseth. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya, Brian Vickers, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The race had 16 lead changes among nine drivers and 11 cautions for 74 laps.

The next race is Sunday night (Sept. 1) at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Furniture Row Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Race report
Tags bristol, bush, chevrolet, nascar-cup