LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kurt Busch was featured Sunday in an NBC documentary about his attempt at The Double. First, he had a cameo as the leader at Pocono Raceway. Busch's lead wouldn't lead for long, just five laps, but he raced up front all day and finished third. Busch posted his first top 10 since his win at Martinsville nine races ago.
LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Kurt Busch was featured Sunday in an NBC documentary about his attempt at The Double.
First, he had a cameo as the leader at Pocono Raceway. Busch's lead wouldn't lead for long, just five laps, but he raced up front all day and finished third. Busch posted his first top 10 since his win at Martinsville nine races ago.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the race and Brad Keselowski was second.
Busch had otherwise struggled outside of the one win that all but locked him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Busch, who was sixth in the Indianapolis 500 in a failed attempt at The Double, had only two other top 10s and five DNFs.
Busch hoped the strong finish would lead to a stronger second half of the season before the Chase.
"A nice turn of the page ... for shedding that new-team skin and moving in the second part of the year with a solid-type finish," Busch said. "This is what we need to start building our consistency on."
Busch was the only Stewart-Haas Racing driver to finish inside the top 10. At different points in the race, Tony Stewart led and Kevin Harvick was second. Stewart, though, blew the lead when he was penalized for speeding on pit road and Harvick was hit with tire issues. SHR's Danica Patrick was 37th after she smacked the wall with 22 laps left.
Stewart blamed himself for losing the shot at his first win of the season.
"It was 100 percent driver error," Stewart said. "I don't know how I got through the (dashboard) lights like I did, but I got to where I blew through all the lights and didn't have any on the (tachometer) so I had no clue that I was over it. I gave my guys grief last week with a sixth-place run when I thought we should have run in the top-three. Then I threw it away this week. "
Busch said an open, honest team meeting last week cleared some air about the No. 41 Chevrolet's erratic season.
"We all had to look at one another and say, 'Are you willing to step this up, are you willing to put in the extra hours, are you willing to go the extra mile to make this happen?'" Busch said. "Everybody said yes. When you cash in on a top-five run after that, it really builds everybody's self-esteem. I'm looking forward to it."