KURT BUSCH – 2017 Michigan II Race Report

August 13th, 2017

Event:               Pure Michigan 400 (Round 23 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (2-mile oval)
Format:             200 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/80 laps)
Note:                 Race ended in overtime, going two laps past its scheduled 200-lap distance
Start/Finish:      15th/11th (Running, completed 202 of 202 laps)
Point Standing: 14th (544 points, 379 out of first) 

Race Winner:    Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):

  • Kurt Busch started 15th, finished 15th.
  • Busch jolted his Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion to the 12th position before noting grip issues on lap three.
  • On lap 42, he pitted for four fresh tires and fuel.
  • When the green-flag pit stops cycled through, Busch was left in the 13th position. 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):

  • Started 15th, finished 15th.
  • At the beginning of Stage 2, Busch continued to battle front and rear grip issues.
  • On lap 107, crew chief Tony Gibson called Busch to the pits for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments to correct loose-     handling conditions.
  • At the conclusion of Stage 2, Busch pitted for four more tires and fuel. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-200):

  • Started 18th, finished 11th.
  • After a lap-139 caution, Busch restarted in the 10th position.
  • Busch ran as high as third place in the final stage.
  • On lap 173, Busch pitted for two tires, fuel and wedge adjustments under green-flag conditions.
  • Following a lap-196 red-flag caution, Busch restarted from the 17th position and battled his Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion just outside the top-10. 

Notes:

  • This was Busch’s 34th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Michigan and his 599th career NASCAR Cup Series start.
  • There were five caution periods for a total of 28 laps.
  • Twenty four of the 39 drivers in the Pure Michigan 400 finished on the lead lap.
  • Kyle Larson won the Pure Michigan 400 to score his fourth career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his third at Michigan. His margin of victory over second-place Martin Truex Jr. was .310 of a second.
  • Martin Truex Jr. leads the championship standings with 933 points with a 129-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Larson.

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

“We were solid today, but we didn’t do anything right and we didn’t do anything wrong. We’ll pull together and work hard for next week in Bristol.”

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday, Aug. 19 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC.