Kurt Busch enjoyed the challenge of racing a low downforce rules package at Kentucky Speedway, before and after a mid-race spin that took him for a ride through the grass.
“It was fun,” Busch said after earning his tenth top-10 finish of the year. “With a battle with the low downforce, sliding around and restarts on four tires or two tires, I was just testing the limits of the new package.”
Busch encountered his limit on Lap 100. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver had started 13th in the Quaker State 400 and was eighth when his No. 41 Chevy became looser than Busch could handle coming out of Turn 4. The back end came around, and Busch went sliding into the frontstretch grass to bring out the caution.
“The car started off loose on Lap 1 of practice and stayed loose,” Busch said. “We never really got the rear end secured. The only thing we could do is make the front-end chatter.”
Unlike drivers John Wes Townley and Matt Kenseth, who found themselves needing help to get out of the rain-soaked grass during the weekend, Busch was able to remove himself from its grasp.
“Luckily didn’t get stuck in the grass, didn’t tear up the car,” Busch said.
When the race reset, he was 28th. He wouldn’t stay there long.
“We had to battle pretty hard,” Busch said of his navigation through the field, aided by a track-record 11 cautions. He was in 15th by Lap 120, and he reappeared in the top 10 15 laps later.
Between Lap 150 and 225, Busch bounced between 14th and 10th, where he would settle in for the final run to the finish.
“Seventh place was going to be about the best we were going to get, and we brought it home 10th,” said Busch, who is eighth in points with two wins after missing the first three races of the year because of a suspension.
“Not the result that we wanted, but we can’t be disappointed with 10th,” Busch said. “It was fun to drive when we were all on restarts. Overall pleased with the package.
“When NASCAR throws rules at you, you’ve got to adapt. We didn’t quite adapt to the top-five level tonight.”