|Date: June 4, 2017
Event: AAA 400 Drive for Autism (Round 13 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/37th (Accident, completed 93 of 406 laps)
Point Standing: 16th (291 points, 254 out of first)
Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports in overtime (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):
● Kurt Busch started sixth, finished 37th.
● Began the race strong, climbing to fourth after a lap-22 restart.
● After 25 laps, Busch was third, trailing leader Martin Truex Jr. and second-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
● Busch passed Stenhouse for second on lap 37.
● Caution on lap 48 sent field to pit road, but three cars took only two tires, jettisoning Busch to fourth.
● On lap-53 restart, Busch passed Truex for second and set sights on leader Kyle Larson.
● A caution on lap 62 bunched the field and the leaders stayed out.
● For the lap-66 restart, Busch was on the inside of Larson for the lead going into turn one and then got loose in turn two, spinning into the No. 2 Ford of Brad Keselowski.
● Busch made two trips to pit road to fix right-side damage on his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion, returning to the race one lap down in 36th position.
● After 88 laps, Busch went another lap down. He remained 36th.
● Busch cut a left-rear tire on lap 95 that sent him backward into the turn one wall. Damage to his racecar was too extensive to repair.
● Busch was evaluated and released from the infield care center. He was credited with 93 laps completed in the 406-lap race.
● The AAA 400 Drive for Autism was Busch’s 34th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover.
● This was Busch’s first DNF (Did Not Finish) at Dover since June 2012, ending a nine-race streak of running at the finish.
● The race finished in overtime, going six laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance.
● There were 15 caution periods for a total of 72 laps, including the final lap.
● Only 14 drivers in the 39-car field finished on the lead lap.
● Jimmie Johnson won the AAA 400 Drive for Autism to score his 83rd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, tying NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time series win list. It was also Johnson’s third win of the season and his 11th at Dover.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I got loose on a restart. It’s my bad as a driver, my bad. We had good speed in our car and just couldn’t finish. You can’t make mistakes out here and we did.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!