Kurt Busch's high point in Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 quickly turned to a low point, but the tenacious and talented Furniture Row Racing driver charged back from adversity to post a third-place finish in NASCAR's longest race.
It was the third top-five of the season for Busch and it was also his best finish since joining the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team with six races remaining in 2012.
Busch, who started the 600 miler on the outside pole, ran the majority of the race in the top-five. He moved into first place on Lap 319 of 400, but shortly after taking the lead the race was red flagged by NASCAR due to major debris on the track as a result of a frontstretch multicar accident.
When Busch attempted to restart his No. 78 Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet, he had no power due to a dead battery. Busch’s car was pushed by a safety vehicle to the team’s pit stall where the crew replaced the battery. The incident dropped Busch from first to 15th.
“We had the lead, we had clean air and we had a fast race car, but when the battery went dead that pretty much doomed our chances of winning this race,” said Busch, who had mixed emotions about his third-place finish. “But give credit to this Furniture Row Racing team for fighting back. The battery was replaced quickly and the pit stops tonight were solid. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t take advantage of our opportunity, but finishing third is a good points night.”
Busch, who remained 18th in the Sprint Cup driver point standings, added, “It was one of those days where you hoped it goes smoothly but it didn’t. When you are back there battling back passing guys it’s tough to catch those leaders because they are out front. We really did well with our Furniture Row guys. Thanks to them, Furniture Row, Sealy, Monster Energy, it was a good night to showcase what this team is made of.”
The race winner was Kevin Harvick. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kasey Kahne, Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Marcos Ambrose.
The race had 11 cautions, including two red flags for 61 laps. The first red flag was for an overhead broken television cable and the second was for debris.
The race also had 24 lead changes among 12 drivers.
The next race is Sunday, June 2 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.