Kurt Busch: “There was two missed calls by NASCAR at the end.”
Kurt Busch led 108 laps on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event. There was only 193 laps in the race. Busch led 56% of the race.
Despite being the leader at the end of the final stage, he was doing his best to save fuel. Being the leader, generally means using more fuel as the leader is the first car to punch a hole in the air.
With three laps to go in the race all four Stewart-Haas Racing machines had opened a gap to the back. They ran nose to tail as the field races three and four wide for 5th on back. Bowman got loose off turn four, spun across the banking and brought out the yellow.
Heading to the green flag on the final restart, many cars bailed. Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski all hit the pit lane as the field was coming to the green. Their cars were sputtering already, they had no chance to make it.
Kurt Busch remained on the track, took the green and led into turn one. He nearly made it work. Busch fought off a charge from Almirola on the first portion of the white flag lap.
The field wrecked behind them. No caution was thrown.
He was still leading heading into turn three. By turn four, Kurt Busch was out of fuel. Aric Almirola drove around him on the outside and took the lead with just a few hundred feet to go.
Kurt Busch coasted across the finish line. He finished in 14th.
“There was two missed calls by NASCAR at the end,” Kurt Busch stated to NBC following the race at Talladega Superspeedway.
“Why have an extra yellow flag lap? It’s beyond me. The track was ready to go.”
“And, at the end. Once we crossed the white flag — If there’s a wreck and an ambulance needs to be dispatched…”
“I’ve been on the other side of that, where I was racing coming back to win the race. They said, ‘Well, we had to dispatch an ambulance.”
“There was two cars dead in the water down there [this time]. Chase Elliott’s safety is of my concern as was the #32 car [Matt DiBenedetto].
“It’s a human call. There’s rules that need to be stricter at the end of these races.”
“What a Monster Ford. I try to stay positive. I did everything I could, on my checklist. It was a very different Talladega for me. I really enjoyed leading the race.”
“I’m really happy a Stewart-Haas car won. The four of us, I’ve never seen so much synergy. We’re here to win.”
“But, there was two human element calls there at the end. I don’t know why we ran an extra lap under yellow. And I don’t know why there wasn’t a yellow for the dispatch of an ambulance.”
“We had 21 [points] coming into this. If you can bank 9 [points] and get the heck out of Talladega, sounds good. I’m headed home.”
Update: NASCAR Statement
“We were closely monitoring each car involved, and were actively communicating with spotters and safety trucks in Turn 1. All cars were able to either roll off under their own power or signal they were clear. As always, we make every effort to end under green for our fans in the stands and at home, which we did.”