After starting at the rear of the 43-car field due to changing to a backup car after Friday’s qualifying accident, Kurt Busch was a driver on the move when the green flag dropped for Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup race.
By Lap 31 he had his No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS running in the top-10 at Phoenix International Raceway’s 1-mile oval.
He stayed in or near the top-10 for the next 200 laps. But his smooth sailing ascent to the front suddenly took a turn for the worse, and when the checkered flag waved Busch was credited with a 27th-place finish.
“We went from a smooth-running top-10 car to a disheartening finish,” said Busch. “Too many things went wrong on that long green-flag run towards the end of the race.”
When the caution came out on Lap 236 of the scheduled 312-lap race, Busch was positioned in 11thplace. He came down pit road for two left-side tires, fuel and an air pressure and chassis adjustment.
When the race was restarted on Lap 242, h...