KURT BUSCH – 2017 Phoenix II Race Report

November 12th, 2017

Event:               Can-Am 500k (Round 35 of 36)
Series:               Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location:          Phoenix Raceway (1-mile oval)
Format:             312 laps, broken into three stages (75 laps/75 laps/162 laps)
Start/Finish:      15th/21st (Running, completed 312 of 312 laps)
Point Standing: 15th with 2,193 points

Race Winner:    Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75):

  • Kurt Busch started 15th, finished 16th.
  • Busch noted loose-handling conditions in addition to low right-rear grip during the opening laps.
  • He continued to battle balance issues for the duration of the stage.
  • Busch pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150):

  • Started 17th, finished 15th.
  • Loose handling continued to hinder the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford’s speed throughout the stage.
  • Busch pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments at the end of the stage.
  • Due to a broken jack during the stop, Busch lost two positions on pit road. 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 151-312):

  • Started 17th, finished 21st.
  • Busch pitted during a lap-239 caution to counter loose-handling conditions. He restarted in the 15th position.
  • He opted to stay out during a lap-250 caution to restart ninth.
  • Busch battled the Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford in and around the top-10 until a lap-280 caution.
  • During the final restart, Busch was caught in traffic, and his car sustained front-end damage that limited driver visibility. 

Notes:

  • There were seven caution periods for a total of 41 laps.
  • Eighteen of the 40 drivers in the Can-Am 500k finished on the lead lap.
  • Matt Kenseth won the Can-Am 500k to score his 39th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his second at Phoenix. His margin of victory over second-place Chase Elliott was 1.207 of seconds.
  • The Championship Four contenders Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Kesolowski enter the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with 5,000 points each.

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The final race of the 10-race playoffs starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by NBC beginning at 1:30 p.m.