KURT BUSCH – 2017 Charlotte I Race Report

Event:               Coca-Cola 600 (Round 12 of 36) 
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 
Location:          Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval) 
Format:             400 laps, broken into four stages (100 laps/100 laps/100 laps/100 laps)
Start/Finish:      12th/6th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps) 
Point Standing: 14th (290 points, 201 out of first) 
Race Winner:    Austin Dillon of Richard Childress Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):

  • Kurt Busch started 12th, finished ninth.
  • Battled a tight-handling condition on corner exit.
  • With his ninth-place finish in Stage 1, Busch earned two bonus points.
  • Visited pit road at the end of Stage 1 to take four tires, fuel and air pressure and wedge adjustments.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):

  • Started 10th, finished fifth.
  • As the sun began to set, Busch struggled with a loose-handling condition.
  • Was running seventh when inclement weather forced NASCAR to red flag the race.
  • Pitted when the race restarted for four tires, fuel and air pressure and wedge adjustments.
  • With his fifth-place finish in Stage 2, Busch earned five bonus points.
  • Visited pit road at the end of Stage 2 to take four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 201-300):

  • Started seventh, finished sixth.
  • Battled a loose-handling condition on entry and was tight off the corners for much of the stage.
  • Visited pit road on lap 294 to take four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments.
  • With his sixth-place finish in Stage 3, Busch earned four bonus points. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 301-400):

  • Started sixth, finished sixth.
  • Struggled with a tight-handling condition on the short run and a loose-handling condition on the long run.
  • Was credited with leading a lap during a cycle of green-flag pit stops on lap 368.
  • Finished sixth to earn his sixth top-10 finish of the 2017 season. 

Notes:

  • Busch’s sixth-place finish was his fourth top-10 in his last six races and his 12th top-10 in 34 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte.
  • Busch led once for one lap.
  • Busch earned points in each stage of the race, marking the first time this season he has done so.

Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“We did well. We battled and battled and had fun throughout. The balance of our car was too tight to start and too loose on the long run. We saw a little bit of that in the All-Star Race, so we tried to compensate. The track came to us with the rain delay. I thought we were a stronger car in the later half of the race. The short-run speed we were tight, the long-run speed we were loose, but we tried and tried and tried. Thanks to Haas Automation, Monster Energy and Ford. I’ve got a great group of guys. Tonight was a good run. We finished sixth, but some guys stayed out on fuel, and we really gave it our heart tonight.”

Next Up:                                                                        

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on Sunday, June 4 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race starts at 1 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1.