Kurt Busch got another chance to seal the deal and claim his first win of the season, but a wreck during today’s Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway made sure he’ll have to wait at least another week.
Going into Sunday, Busch had made his way into ninth place in the Sprint Cup championship and in the race, he proved to be one of the contenders by leading a stout 102 laps on the day. He was running in the Top 10 at Lap 225, when the back end of his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet spun around directly in front of Matt Kenseth.
Ryan Newman, running on the high line, was collected by Busch in the process, while the oncoming Kasey Kahne proceeded to tag Kenseth from behind. But while Kahne and Kenseth were able to continue on directly after the incident, Busch was forced to wait out repairs in the garage before coming back to finish 31st. Newman’s car was unsalvageable, and he finished 39th.
“I just got hit from behind,” said Busch. “There was three-wide action, everybody’s going hard…Kenseth was in the middle and he was in the middle on the back straightaway. The car gets light when there is no air on the rear spoiler back there.”
The 31st-place result caused him to fall five spots to 14th in the standings, seven points out of Kahne in 10th place – and Busch knows that he can’t deal with more problems if he wants to make the post-season.
“We took a hit in the points, but we’re still in the Chase hunt – that’s the good news,” he said to NASCAR.com. “But we need to have more consistency and can’t have these kinds of finishes with only seven races remaining before the Chase.”
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.