While running in the top-five and contending for the win, Kurt Busch saw his day end in spectacular fashion when he got collected in a multicar wreck with six laps remaining in Sunday’s rain-delayed Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Busch, who had his No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS in the top-five for a good portion of the race, including second with nine laps to go, found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time in the white-knuckle event.
Running the low line on the 2.66-mile oval and charging further to the front, Busch’s Chevrolet got clipped from a car sliding down the track. The impact sent Busch’s car airborne, which then proceeded to roll and eventually land for a brief time on Ryan Newman’s No. 39 car.
When Busch’s car came to a halt following the startling ride, he was transported by ambulance to the infield medical care center where he was observed and released.
Busch was credited with a 30th-place finish.
“We just got hit from behind, and along for the ride we went," said a frustrated Busch. "It’s Talladega, what I can say. We ran up front for most of the day and don’t have much to show for it. It’s been the story of our season. But when the luck cycle turns our way it’s going to be good because the performance is there. We’ve proven that.”
Busch’s Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet also suffered damage early in the race (Lap 44) when he was a victim of another multicar accident. The incident forced Busch to make four unscheduled trips down pit road to repair damage to the right-front fender and splitter.
“We kept on fighting back and Kurt drove an outstanding race,” said crew chief Todd Berrier. “He’s a battler with a tremendous amount of talent. He gives you 110 percent at all times. He put us in position for a win at the end and that’s all you can ask for. Luck just wasn’t on our side.”
Busch remained 20th in the Sprint Cup point standings.
The Aaron’s 499 took a long time to complete due to rain. The race was red flagged on Lap 124 for more than 3 hours and 30 minutes.
The race winner was David Ragan. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: David Gilliland, Carl Edwards, Michael Waltrip, JImmie Johnson, Regan Smith, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Scott Speed and Aric Almirola.
The race had 30 lead changes among 17 drivers, including Busch, who led two laps. There were five cautions for 31 laps.
The next Sprint Cup race is Saturday night (May 11) at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.