Kurt Busch, driving the No.41 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) Ford Fusion, won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this season, in a Saturday night thriller in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch recorded his 30th career Cup win and the Ford Fusion’s milestone 100th race win.
“Congratulations to Ford on the Fusion's 100th Cup win, and to Kurt, Gene and Tony on an impressive race,” said Doug Yates, President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines. “Kurt and the Stewart-Haas team earned every bit of that win tonight. Congratulations to Ryan and Joey on their Stage wins. That really helped set the tone for the night. It’s been a total team effort all year with Ford Performance and it showed tonight as the Ford teams were battling for the lead.”
In a classic battle in the Thunder Valley, Busch raced against SHR teammate, Clint Bowyer to take the lead during a late race restart, only to have the ninth caution of the race come out with 13 laps remaining. Busch showed his grit and determination, as he got a great restart and held off a hard charging Kyle Larson, on fresher tires, to take the checkered flag and win Ford’s 11th points race of the season.
“It’s awesome to do it at Bristol. I love this place,” Busch commented in Victory Lane. “We now have won six times here and I have great teams that have always helped me win. This group of guys, Billy Scott, my crew chief, this is his first win and to be able to do it with Ford and Monster and Haas Automation is just what it’s all about is executing as a team and we had good restarts when we had to, and then you’ve got to get clever and start throwing everything at it.”
Ford Performance teams ran strong all night with a total of six drivers leading a race high 370 laps out of the 500-lap race. Race winner Busch led the final 24 laps of the race while Ford teammate Ryan Blaney (Stage 1 winner) led 121 laps and Bowyer led 120 laps. In addition, Stage 2 winner, Joey Logano led 95 laps.
Five Ford’s finished in the Top-10; Busch (P1), Logano (P4), Bowyer (P6), Blaney (P7), Kevin Harvick (P10). In addition, Roush Fenway Racing, Trevor Bayne finished a season high P11.
Ford has six drivers locked into playoff positions with just two races left before the Playoffs start at Las Vegas. Harvick leads the Playoff field in the number one position with 40 points. SHR teammates Bowyer and Busch follow in fourth and fifth respectively, while Team Penske driver Logano sits in sixth, Blaney in tenth and Brad Keselowski in eleventh. MENCS will take a break this coming weekend as the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to take on the four-mile Road America road course. Reference the full 2018 schedule on Roush Yates Engines.
In addition, Roush Yates Engines has achieved a new overall milestone of 30 wins on the season, exceeding its previous total from 2017. This milestone is an accumulation of wins across NASCAR, IMSA and FIA Series.