Kurt Busch scored his first top-10 as a Furniture Row Racing driver, finishing eighth in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Busch, who was competing in only his fourth race with the Denver, Colo.-based team, made a late charge to notch his 172nd career top-10.
The finish was also Busch’s best on an oval this season. His overall best season result of third came at the Sonoma, Calif. road course.
“Kurt kept on digging and digging and never gave up,” said Furniture Row Racing crew chief Todd Berrier. “The car was sideways off the corner most of the day and he stayed in there. It would have been easy to give up, but that’s not Kurt’s style. He drove his tail off, and it was sure impressive to watch him maneuver the Furniture Row Chevrolet. He put a lot into it and deserved what he got.”
Busch was one of two non-Chase drivers to finish in the top-10. The other was his brother Kyle, who came home third.
"All-in-all a good day for Furniture Row Racing,” said Kurt. “Considering that we had a top-five or top-10 car at the last two races but got nailed in accidents, it was important to come away with a solid finish today. We've made a lot of progress as a team in a short period of time, which gives us plenty of optimism for 2013.
“However, we still have some handling issues to work out, but we're getting there. I am really proud of how we came back today after struggling for a good portion of the race."
Busch, who started the scheduled 334-lap race from the 18th position, was stuck in the mid to high teens until he broke into the top-10 on Lap 237. From that point on the 2004 NASCAR champion hung tough, especially during the multiple restarts at the end of the race that culminated with a green-white-checkered overtime finish.
“The Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet was loose for most of the race and it was a battle to tighten it up,” explained Busch. “But we kept on plugging away and Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and guys made some good changes near the end and that’s what you have to do in order to compete for top-10s, top-fives and wins. Our pit stops weren’t easy today due to the number of changes we were making, but our pit crew had a solid performance. We’re all looking forward to the final two races of the season.”
The Texas race winner was Jimmie Johnson. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Brad Keselowksi, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle.
The race had 20 lead changes among seven drivers and there were nine cautions for 49 laps.