(For each of the 36 races during the 2011 Sprint Cup season, TUMS will provide a glimpse of a previous event at that track, one that could easily be described as A TUMS Moment. This week, the focus is on Texas Motor Speedway).

American Muscle

The date was Nov. 8, 2009. Kyle Busch, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, led 232 of the 334-lap Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Crew chiefs for the top teams felt fuel consumption would be close in the final laps of the race. With track position so critical, many took their chances and challenged their drivers to conserve in order to make it to the finish. Several drivers were unable to conserve enough and dropped off the pace, out of fuel just before the checkered flag fell.

NOTE: TUMS is the sponsor of the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the seventh race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, at Martinsville Speedway on October 30.

Busch and his crew chief, Steve Addington, also elected to take the gamble. But as he crossed the start-finish line on lap 333, he knew he was in trouble. His car sputtered and by the time he got halfway down the backstretch, his engine fell silent. Brother Kurt Busch enjoyed a top-five run throughout the race and was there to inherit the lead as the two entered the third turn. Kurt completed the final lap with ease for his 20thcareer win. Denny Hamlin, conserving enough fuel to complete the race, finished second 25 seconds behind the winner.

“Unbelievable! I’m proud of our team and everybody pulling together hard,” Kurt Busch said. “Racing my little brother head-to-head for the win is bitter sweet. I was rooting for him, but at the same time, we wanted to put our Dodge in victory lane. We raced hard. It was cat-and-mouse on those restarts. Then it came down to the crew chief, Pat (Tryson) putting in the right calls and getting us the fuel mileage to bring it home.”

For those teams miscalculating on fuel, it was a TUMS moment.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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