Busch’s day spoiled by engine failure at Phoenix

Haas Automation driver Finishes 39th at Phoenix.

Kurt Busch and the No. 41 Haas Automation team watched their potential top-10 finish dry up in the Arizona desert due to an engine failure Sunday in The Profit on CNBC 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, resulting in a 39th-place finish.

Busch got off to a fast start in the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS in the early going of the 312-lap race, racing from 12th to eighth in the opening laps. The No. 41 remained in the top-10 and ran as high as fifth by lap 170.

Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

The first sign of a problem reared its head on lap 208 when Busch, racing in 10th position, radioed to crew chief Daniel Knost that “we dropped a cylinder.” Busch did his best to hold his position, but the issue prevented the No. 41 from maintaining its top-10 speed.

On lap 232 the Haas Automation team lost its first lap to the leaders, and just 10 laps later the car ran out of gas while coming to pit road, causing the team to lose two additional laps.

The No. 41 suffered total engine failure on lap 292 while racing in 33rd position. Busch radioed the team to notify them of the failure before returning to the garage for the final time. As the No. 41 Chevy circled the track coming to the garage, fluid from the engine dropped onto the track to bring out the final caution of the race on lap 298.

“That was another disappointing finish for the No. 41 team. We had a good Haas Automation Chevrolet early on and ran in the top-10 for more than 200 laps,” Busch said. “But we dropped a cylinder late in the race and couldn’t do anything to fix it. I’m proud of my guys for sticking with it and doing what they could.

We had some great pit stops today and were in position for a good afternoon. To have a top-10 car all afternoon and then not finish the race is a tough way to end your day. We learned some things today and found some things to work on moving forward, but this is a young team and we will come back stronger for it.”

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, led the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent at Phoenix by winning The Profit on CNBC 500k. It was the 20th points-paying Sprint Cup victory for SHR since the team’s inception in 2009.

Harvick started 13th and led four times for a race-high 224 laps en route to his fifth Sprint Cup win at Phoenix, where he is now the all-time leader in Sprint Cup victories. It was also Harvick’s 24th Sprint Cup victory in 468 career starts.

Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 36th after getting caught up in a lap-172 accident.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 0.489 of a second behind Harvick in the runner-up spot, while Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-five. Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were eight caution periods for 38 laps, with four drivers failing to finish.

With round two of 36 complete, Harvick leads the SHR contingent in the championship point standings. He is fourth, 11 points behind series leader Earnhardt. Stewart is 20th, 53 points out of first. Kurt Busch is 30th, 61 points out of first. Patrick is 39th, 77 points out of first.

The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the Kobalt 400 on Sunday, March 9 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with its prerace show at 2 p.m.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano , Danica Patrick , Kyle Busch
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing
Article type Race report
Tags chevrolet ss, kurt busch, nascar-cup, phoenix, shr