The other Busch-Kurt-fights for impressive fifth place at Bristol in his 600th start

Kurt Busch (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch wasn’t the only member of the Busch family celebrating after Bristol Saturday night. While Kyle was enjoying the champagne after pulling off the three race sweep with a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup win, Kurt was enjoying his hard fought fifth place run.

Saturday night marked the 600th career start for Kurt Busch. He started 25th and early on was struggling. He finished the first stage 14th. During the pit stops, Busch got boxed in and was forced to backup, this slowed his stop and he restarted 21st. He rallied back and was 12th when Stage 2 ended.

He pitted prior to the end of the stage, and this strategy put him ninth when the final stage got underway on lap 251. That strategy was almost for not however. On lap 272 Busch made contact with the wall and slowed. He nearly went a lap down, but a timely caution on lap 353 gave Busch a chance to pit.

“We’ve been struggling with the VHT on the bottom, so I just knew we needed to wait and wait and wait,” Busch said.” I was hopeful at lap 250 that it would come to us. I pushed it too hard then and got some right-front tire damage on the fender. We had to work through that.”

He moved to back into ninth, then pitted again for the final time on lap 417 getting his final set of sticker tires. From there the race ran caution free. Busch avoided trouble and fought his way to fifth, the highest finisher among the Stewart-Haas Racing team, and the highest finishing Ford.

“At the end we got in position because Tony Gibson (crew chief) made a good call and put us on fresher tires than the competition, and it was the old fun Bristol for me,” Busch said. “So I’m really proud of this Monster Energy Ford – to be first in class, to get a top-five in my 600th start and to see the lead with 50 to go.”

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.