CONCORD, N.C. (May 18, 2013) – Kurt Busch saw a potential victory slip to a fifth-place finish in Saturday night’s rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
After the four 20-lap segments in the non-points race, Busch posted the best average finish among the 22 drivers and was positioned in first place before teams were required to make a mandatory four-tire pit stop heading into the final winner-take-all 10-lap segment.
But when Busch left pit road for the 10-lap shootout, he was positioned in fifth place when the race went green for the final time. He ended the race in the same position when the checkered flag waved on Lap 90.
“Our four-segment average guaranteed us coming down pit road first for the final stop, but it didn’t guarantee us leaving pit road first ,” said Busch, driver of the Armed Forces Day Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet. “We were one tick slow on our pit stop and one tick off on the chassis adjustment. That was the difference. You have to be perfect to win this race. We weren’t. It was an A- overall performance.”
Busch’s best average in the four 20-lap segments was a result of two wins — in the first and fourth segments and a fourth in the second segment and second in the third segment. His overall average for the four segments was an impressive 2.0. He also led 29 laps, tying his brother Kyle for most laps led.
“It was sure a blast to win two segments and lead laps,” stated Busch. “I am very proud of how this team is coming together. Everyone knew we were here tonight. We fought hard and felt all along that we could win this race. The car got tight and was plowing during the final 10 laps. It just didn’t have the same handling as it did in the first four segments.”
Though Busch felt disappointment for not closing the deal with a victory, he felt the evening wasn’t an entire loss.
“We were strong tonight, and what we learned will translate into next week’s (Coca-Cola) 600,” noted Busch, who is a former winner of the 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The All-Star Race winner was Jimmie Johnson. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.