For all drivers and teams scrambling to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, they’ll have one moment to look back on that either made or broke their chances for the post-season.
Kurt Busch and Furniture Row Racing may have found their ‘made’ moment on a Lap 162 restart in today’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Busch had been at the front of the field earlier but a four-tire stop in the previous caution period had sent him from sixth to 14th going into the green flag. His main competition in the Chase battle were now ahead of him, and with less than 40 laps to go, Busch couldn’t afford to stay behind.
“You can’t run 14th and gain on guys [in the standings],” said Busch, who went to the outside on the restart and proceeded to peel off a staggering eight positions – making up all the ground he had lost on pit road when most of the other drivers opted to go for two tires instead of four.
Busch would move up to fourth by the time another yellow came out at Lap 172, and after momentarily dicing with eventual race winner Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick on the Lap 177 restart, he settled in and raced to a third-place finish that vaulted him into ninth in the Sprint Cup standings.
With three races to go before the Chase begins, Busch and the single-car, Colorado-based Furniture Row Racing are back where they need to be in order to race for a championship.
“We’ll just keep plugging away,” said Busch. “We’ve got three to go and we’re in the mix.”
It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”
But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.
Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.
Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:
- 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
- 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
- 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
- 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:
1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.
Check your local listings for replay times.