AVONDALE, Ariz. – Kurt Busch says NASCAR should reconsider penalizing teams their pit stall selection because such a penalty can impact others, as it did to Busch last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR penalized Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team with the final pit stall selection last weekend at Texas after the team received its fourth warning since August for an issue through inspection. The only pit stall left when it came time for Earnhardt’s team to pick was in front of Busch, whose team had picked a spot with an opening behind its stall.
“We knew our pit stall was doomed last week,’’ Busch said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. “We picked it with an opening behind us and then (Earnhardt) had a penalty that meant he had to forfeit his pit road pit selection.
“Now what we hope NASCAR realizes is that when you’re penalizing one team for their pit road selection, it affects another team that was an innocent bystander. It makes no sense to me to penalize people on their pit selection.’’
With Busch and Earnhardt staying on the same lap, it meant they pitted together during cautions. Complicating matters was that Greg Biffle’s pit stall was before Earnhardt’s stall and Biffle remained on the lead lap as well.
“We knew we were going to get blocked in a few times,’’ Busch said about pitting behind Earnhardt. “We all tried to work around it. What compounded it was (Earnhardt) would pit around us and then (Biffle) would come around (Earnhardt). Anytime you have three cars that are pulling in, in that order, it’s going to slow up all three teams.’’
Busch went on to finish seventh, but he’s seventh in the standings, 28 points behind the final transfer spot for next weekend’s championship round in Miami.
“We have to win,’’ Busch said of what he feels it will take to compete for the title.