Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), suffered multiple tire issues in the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to finish 39th on Monday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Steady rain and cool temperatures washed out the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup race originally scheduled for Sunday and forced the race to Monday. Rookie crew chief Daniel Knost did his best to make an educated guess on which setup would be best for the No. 41, but the result wasn’t exactly what the team was hoping for. Busch started 11th, but changing track conditions led to an ill-handling racecar early on, as he told the team the car was “tight in and loose off” the corners.
On lap 172, near the half-way point of the race, Busch got a flat tire on his way to pit road, forcing him to miss the commitment line and enter pit road too fast. The situation caused the No. 41 team to fall two laps down to the leaders and restart in 30th position.
Busch suffered a second tire issue on lap 219, causing damage to the rear of the car and again forcing the team to make several trips to pit road for repairs. The team returned to the race multiple laps down and did its best to gain positions.
On lap 332, the Haas Automation team suffered a third tire issue that forced Busch to miss the remainder of the 340-lap event.
Busch, who previously won a Sprint Cup race at Texas in 2009, finished 39th.
“That was a very disappointing day after having a fast Haas Automation Chevrolet all weekend,” Knost said. “We brought out a backup car after a wreck early in the weekend due to a tire issue, and we worked to get it back to where we wanted. We took a little too aggressive setup today, and it cost us. But we win as a team and we struggle as a team. This is a new team that is still learning together. We will learn from today and figure some things out to prevent days like this in the future. I hate that we had a day like this, but we’ll continue to learn and get better each week.”