KURT BUSCH – 2018 Las Vegas II Race Report

September 16th, 2018

Date: Sept. 16, 2018
Event: South Point 400 (Round 27 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps, broken into three stages (80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/21st (Running, completed 271 of 272 laps)
Point Standing: 6th (2,042 points, 24 points ahead of top-12 cutoff)

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Kurt Busch started eighth and finished fourth, earning seven bonus points.
● By lap 21, Busch was fifth.
● Busch pitted on lap 36 for four tires and fuel, running fifth when he entered pit road.
● On lap 53, Busch was in third and said the car drove off the corners well.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Busch started sixth and finished second, earning nine bonus points.
● Busch pitted on lap 84 for four tires and fuel, saying he needed the car a bit tighter.
● On lap 100, Busch was fifth.
● On lap 112, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel.
● Under caution on lap 150, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel as he ran in third.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 161-272):

Started 17th and finished 21st.
● On lap 162, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel. A fuel probe broke, which caused gas to spill in the pit box. The rear-tire changer slipped on the gas, slightly delaying the stop.
● Busch was up to 10th by lap 180.
● On lap 184, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel and restarted 10th.
● Busch pitted on lap 218 for four tires and fuel and restarted eighth.
● He pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 234, still running eighth.
● On lap 262, Busch’s car had some rear damage after slight contact from the car of Jimmie Johnson. He was forced to pit under caution and came out 14th.
● With two laps to go he was involved in an accident with Michael McDowell. The crew worked hard to repair the front end of the car, but he finished 21st, one lap down.

Notes:

● Busch finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points and second in Stage 2 to earn an additional nine bonus points.
● Brad Keselowski won the South Point 400 to score his 27th career Cup Series victory, his third of the season and third in a row, and his third at Las Vegas. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Larson was 1.276 seconds.
● There were 12 caution periods for a total of 59 laps.
● Eighteen of the 40 drivers in the South Point 400 finished on the lead lap.
● A 10-minute, 37-second red-flag period just before the end of the race set up a green-white-checkered finish that sent the race into overtime.

Playoff Standing (with two races to go before the Round of 12):

1.       Brad Keselowski (2,069 points) 1 win
2.       Martin Truex Jr. (2,087 points) +65 points
3.       Kyle Busch (2,085 points) +63 points
4.       Kevin Harvick (2,060 points) +38 points
5.       Joey Logano (2,056 points) +34 points
6.       Kurt Busch (2,046 points) +24 points
7.       Ryan Blaney (2,042 points) +20 points
8.       Kyle Larson (2,041 points) +19 points
9.       Aric Almirola (2,034 points) +12 points
10.     Austin Dillon (2,031 points) +9 points
11.     Clint Bowyer (2,029 points) +7 points
12.     Alex Bowman (2,028 points) +6 points
13.     Jimmie Johnson (2,022 points) -6 points
14.     Chase Elliott (2,019 points) -9 points
15.     Erik Jones (2,009 points) -19 points
16.     Denny Hamlin (2,008 points) -20 points