The single-car team based out of Denver, Colo. posted a third-place finish in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
The result lifted Busch two positions in the driver standings – from 11th to ninth. He is two points out of eighth and six ahead of 11th. The top-10 drivers in points along with two wildcard entries qualify for the Chase. There are three races remaining before the start of the 10-race, 12-driver playoff.
The third-place finish was Busch’s second top-three in the past three races, third straight top-10 and his sixth top-five and 11th top-10 of the season.
“Here we are talking third place and that is what’s awesome about our effort today to bounce back from where we were at the first Michigan race (35th) and what we’ve learned since June to be where we are now,” said Busch. “Teams have to move quickly to find technology and this little team keeps continuing to do that. Call these guys a big team — Furniture Row Racing. This is awesome. Thanks to them and everybody who keeps putting their hand on this Furniture Row/Serta Chevrolet to put us in Chase position.”
Busch added, “It’s a tremendous feeling to be in the Chase mix, but we have to remain focused in these next three races. A lot of things can happen and we just have to worry about what we do and not what others do.”
Busch, who started the race from the outside pole, took the lead on the first lap to earn one valuable bonus point. He led three different times for a total of 43 laps, the second most during the 200-lap, 400-mile event.
“We had a great first half of the race then we struggled for a while,” noted Busch. “We were heading in the wrong direction and at one point we were back in 14th place and the drivers we needed to pass in points were ahead of me. That was frustrating. But then there was that restart that turned out to be a game changer for us.”
The game changer restart that Busch was referring to showcased his unique driving talent. When the race was restarted on Lap 161 following a Lap 157 caution, Kurt was back in 14th place. He saw an opening on the restart and bolted his way forward and picked up eight positions in one lap.
“The seas parted and that got us back up front,” said Busch.
Busch’s crew chief Todd Berrier said about the eight passes in one lap, “That’s a rarity and there are only a few drivers who are capable of doing that and Kurt is obviously one of them.”
The race winner was Joey Logano. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Kevin Harvick, Busch, Paul Menard, Clint Bowyer, Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards.
The race had 20 lead changes among 13 drivers and there were nine cautions for 34 laps.
The next Sprint Cup Series race is Saturday night, Aug. 24 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.