MARTINSVILLE, Va. – A costly midrace spin-out as a result of his car getting tagged on the tight Martinsville Speedway oval spoiled another strong driving effort by Kurt Busch, who fought back to a 15th-place finish in Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.
"As was the case in Kansas last week our performance today was better than the finish,” said Busch. “We were running in the top-five or top-six when I got hit and spun out. That knocked us back in track position and it was a battle from that point on.
“The spin was obviously a major blow to us today, but we also had a vibration in the Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet for the majority of the race and that affected the car’s handling.”
Busch started Martinsville's 500-lap race from the 19th position and it wasn’t long after the green flag waved that he started to move forward in his No. 78 Chevrolet.
He was running in the top-10 by Lap 66 and moved into the top-five on Lap 164. He ran as high as third before he got spun out on Lap 229. The incident dropped Busch from sixth to 22nd in track position and one lap down.
“The pit stops were phenomenal and they played a big role in getting us to the front,” noted Busch.
“The guys did an outstanding job. After getting spun out it was a matter of being patient and getting back on the lead lap."
Busch, a former winner at Martinsville (fall 2002), said that in recent times he has not had the best of luck on the .526-mile oval. Only once in the last 11 races at Martinsville did he better his finish of 15th – and that came in last year’s fall race with a 14th-place result.
“I seem to run well here, but lately, too many things have happened to spoil the performance, just like today with the hit and the spin out,” explained Busch, a 24-time Cup winner and NASCAR's 2004 champion.
The Martinsville race winner was Jimmie Johnson. Rounding out the top-10 in order were Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Bobby Labonte and Greg Biffle.
The race had 22 lead changes among nine drivers and there were 11 cautions for 64 laps.
Source: Furniture Row Racing