Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), looked to be on track for a solid finish on Sunday afternoon in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover (Del.) International Speedway until a loose right front wheel set him back just past the halfway point of the race.
Busch started 24th and raced his way up to the eighth position by lap 170 and solidly inside the top-10 by the midpoint of the race. But following a pit stop on lap 241, Busch noticed a vibration in the right front tire. The vibration worsened and forced Busch down pit road for an unscheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 264. The unscheduled stop caused Busch to drop from 11th to 23rd and lose two laps to the leaders.
The No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet continued to battle back in the final 100 laps of the 400-lap event. The team gained one lap back by taking a wave-around following a caution on lap 362 and worked its way into the top-20 with 50 laps to go.
The final caution flag came on lap 392, when Busch and team made a two-tire stop and gained three positions on pit road. Busch restarted 17th, one lap down, with four laps to go. He raced hard against SHR teammate Kevin Harvick in the closing laps and recorded his first top-20 finish since his win at Martinsville.
“It’s unfortunate we had a loose wheel that dropped us a couple laps down,” Busch said. “The Haas Automation Chevrolet was pretty good today, and I thought we could have been in position to run up front until the end. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out that way for us today. It’s frustrating, but we are working to get better each week. It’s just hard when you run pretty well all day and don’t get the finish. We’ll take what we learned today and keep working at it.”