KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Kurt Busch fought through handling problems to post a 15th-place finish in Sunday’s STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway.
“We’re disappointed, this is not the finish we expected after our practice sessions the past two days,” Busch said. “We felt we could be contenders today, but as soon as the race started it was apparent that our Furniture Row Chevrolet SS didn’t have the grip and speed that we had yesterday in practice. We were inconsistent – the car’s handling was loose then it was tight then it chattered. A difficult day all around.”
Though Busch and team members weren’t pleased with the performance, the final result of 15th was heaps better than the 37th-place results at the past two races due to mechanical failures.
“I guess when you look at how we finished the past two weeks today’s top-15 is a step in the right direction,” stated Busch. “But by no means are we satisfied with 15th, we should be better.”
Busch started the Kansas race from the 13th position and when the first caution came out on Lap 6 of 267 he was running in 10th place and maintained the top-10 standing until he was forced down pit road on Lap 32 for an unscheduled stop due to a loose left-rear wheel.
The loose wheel incident sent Busch to the rear of the field, but the former NASCAR champion battled his way through the field and put the Furniture Row Chevy back in the top-10 by Lap 150.
“We got back up there after the loose wheel, but couldn’t maintain the track position,” noted Busch.
Busch picked up two spots in the driver standings. He currently sits 22nd in points after eight of 36 races.
The race winner was Matt Kenseth. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray, Aric Almirola, Mark Martin and Paul Menard.
The race at the 1.5-mile oval had 13 lead changes among eight drivers and there were eight cautions for 40 laps.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is Saturday night (April 27) at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.