KURT BUSCH – 2018 Texas II Race Report

November 4th, 2018

Event:               AAA Texas 500(Round 34 of 36)
Series:               Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format:            334 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish:      7th/7th(Running, completed 337 of 337 laps)
Point Standing:(5thwith 4,100 points, 25 points outside the top-four cutoff)
Note:                Race extended three laps past its scheduled 334-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish. 

Race Winner:    Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner:Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner:Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):

  • Kurt Busch began Stage 1 in seventh and finished it in the second position, earning nine bonus points.
  • The No. 41 State Water Heaters Ford Fusion was in sixth when the competition caution came out on lap 30.
  • Busch said the car was a bit tight, especially in turns one and two. He pitted on lap 32 for two tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
  • After pitting, Busch restarted second. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):

  • Busch started Stage 2 in second place and ended it in eighth, earning three bonus points.
  • The No. 41 State Water Heaters Ford Fusion pitted on lap 88 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.
  • Busch was second when he pitted on lap 150 for four tires and fuel. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 171-337):

  • Busch started the final stage third and ended it in the seventh position.
  • The No. 41 State Water Heaters Ford Fusion pitted on lap 172 for right-side tires and fuel.
  • Busch was in eighth place when a caution came out and he pitted on lap 227 for four tires, fuel and a wedge and tire pressure adjustment.
  • On lap 282, Busch pitted for four tires and fuel.
  • Busch remained in the top-10 for the rest of the race and finished seventh. 

Notes:

  • Kevin Harvick won the AAA Texas 500 to score his 45thcareer victory, his eighth of the 2018 season and his second at Texas.
  • This was Busch’s 21sttop-10 finish of 2018 and his 19thtop-10 in 32 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Texas.
  • Busch finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and eighth in Stage 2 to earn three more bonus points.
  • Ford took five of the top-10 positions, including the top-three.
  • There were eight caution periods for a total of 37 laps.
  • Only 17 of the 40 drivers in the AAA Texas 500 finished on the lead lap. 

Kurt Busch, Driver of the No. 41 State Water Heaters Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“I just didn’t get the restarts nailed at the end. I was on the loose side. We thought we were going to be loose, but each restart just got worse and worse and we had no right-rear grip. I don’t know what really leads to that other than just heat cycles on the tires. We are in a good position. There are a lot of other people I would like to be right here. We just didn’t have the speed the 4 (Harvick) car had today, and hopefully we will get it next week.”

 

 Playoff Standings: (with one race to go before the Championship 4):

1.       Kevin Harvick (4,143) 1 win
2.       Kyle Busch (4,128) +28
3.       Martin Truex Jr. (4,125) +25
4.       Joey Logano (4,119) 1 win
5.       Kurt Busch (4,100) -25
6.       Chase Elliott (4,086) -39
7.       Aric Almirola (4,068) -57
8.       Clint Bowyer (4,052) -73

  • SHR is the only team to feature all four of its drivers in the Round of 8.

Next Up: 

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Can-Am 500k on Sunday, Nov. 11 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix. It is the penultimate race of the 10-race playoffs and the cutoff race to make the Championship 4. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage on NBC beginning at 1:30 p.m.