DOVER, Del – Kurt Busch was a caution away from having a legitimate shot at winning Sunday’s FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.
But the yellow flag didn’t wave at the opportune time for the Furniture Row Racing driver, who ended the 400-lap, 400-mile race in 12th place.
After coming down pit road for fresh tires and fuel on Lap 283, Busch did not pit during the following two cautions on Lap 301 and 318.
“We took track position because we weren’t in our fuel window,” said crew chief Todd Berrier. “We still needed to pit one more time for fuel. The caution we needed didn’t work out for us. We had a strong car today running in the top-10 and top-five and Kurt drove a tremendous race.”
Following the Lap 318 caution, Busch restarted in first place, led eight laps before dropping to second where he solidly ran until he was forced to make a green-flag pit stop for fuel on Lap 363. When he returned to action, he was listed in 18th place before rallying to finish 12th.
“We fought hard today but just couldn’t get the caution when we needed one,” said Busch. “It’s disappointing because the Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet had the potential to pull it off today.”
The caution that Busch and the Denver-based Furniture Row team were looking for came out 14 laps too late (Lap 377).
“The more we keep battling and running up front the odds will eventually play in our favor,” stated Busch. “We have a fast car just need to work out a few kinks and get a break now and then.”
Busch, who gained one position in the point standings – from 18th to 17th — ran the majority of the race in the top-10 and top-five.
The race winner was Tony Stewart. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks had 21 lead changes among 11 drivers and seven cautions for 32 laps.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is Sunday (June 9) at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.