The day started well for Busch and his M&Ms Toyota team. He rolled off the grid fifth and ran solidly in the Top-10 for the first two-thirds of the race. But when teammate Matt Kenseth turned sideways after contact with Jamie McMurray on Lap 188, Busch was left with nowhere to go. He plowed into the back of Kenseth’s slowing racer, then was tagged from behind by Kasey Kahne. The contact sent Busch spinning through the infield grass and badly damaged the nose, hood and right-front fender of his machine.
After surveying the damage on pit road, Rogers orchestrated a series of pit stops that allowed his team to repair the damage while still clinging to the lead lap. A series of late-race caution flags tightened the field, and Busch did the rest, making a ballsy, four-wide move on a green/white/checkered flag restart that pushed him from 12th to eighth in the final rundown.
|Battered and bowed, Busch persevered|
After a seventh-place finish in the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago, Busch is now a comfortable fifth in championship points heading into this Sunday’s elimination race at Dover International Speedway. He is 28 points ahead of teammate Denny Hamlin (currently the first man out of title contention), and while there are no guarantees on a track dubbed “The Monster Mile,” Busch and his team need only a steady day at Dover to advance to the Contender Round.