Once again, a monster late-race restart helped Furniture Row Racing’s Kurt Busch keep pace in the Race to the Chase.
Two weeks ago at Michigan International Speedway, Busch was 14th coming to a restart with 38 laps to go but shot to sixth in one lap and went on to a third-place finish.
Then, last night in the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he roared from 11th on a restart with 33 laps remaining all the way to second before the caution came out again for a spinning Brian Vickers.
“I can’t tell you what I did right, but it all went right,” Busch said about the restart, which set up a brief battle with younger brother Kyle for the lead when the green came back out with 28 laps left.
Unfortunately for Kurt, the high line proved problematic for him.
“The inside lane was definitely the preferred lane on restarts and I didn’t realize how bad the outside lane was until I got to try it on the outside of Kyle,” Kurt said.
“I could not put the power down up there. The inside versus the outside was a tremendous difference. I thought I had something for Kyle but that outside lane was like ice.”
But Kurt still went on to finish fourth at the checkered flag, which moved him from 12th to 10th in the Sprint Cup standings – six points ahead of Jeff Gordon for the final automatic bid in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
With one more race to go before the post-season starts – Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway – “The Outlaw” and FRR control their destiny.
“We had handling problems, but our Furniture Row guys never gave up,” said Kurt, who started 32nd on Sunday. “We made some major swings with the setup throughout the race and I can’t believe we finished with a Top-5.
“We didn’t have a Top-5 car tonight, but that one restart turned things around for us.”