Photo: Stewart-Haas Racing
Date: Oct. 15, 2017
Event: Alabama 500 (Round 31 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (55 laps/55 laps/78 laps)
Start/Finish: 4th/25th (Accident, completed 171 of 188 laps)
Point Standing: 16th with 2,089 points
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-55):
● Kurt Busch started fourth, but the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion had to go to the rear of the field because the team made an unapproved change before the race.
● Busch was up to 22nd before all the Ford cars pitted on lap 14 for fuel only.
● Busch finished Stage 1 in eighth place.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 55-110):
● Started 27th, finished fifth.
● Busch pitted on lap 57 for four tires and some tape on the grill.
● On lap 67 Busch pitted for four tires and fuel.
● Busch led the race from laps 89 to 91.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 111-188):
● Started 14th, finished 25th.
● Busch pitted on lap 113 for four tires, fuel and a wedge and tire pressure adjustment. The team also put some tape on the grill.
● On lap 144, Busch pitted for two tires and fuel after running in the top-five.
● Busch cut a left-front tire when he contacted another car. He pitted on lap 153 for four tires, fuel and a small repair, restarting 34th.
● After just missing an accident, Busch pitted on lap 157 for four tires and fuel.
● Busch was involved in a multicar accident on lap 171, and his car was unable to continue.
Kurt Busch Quote:
“We got hooked in the right rear, and I was pretty close to the front of the pack. I am just happy everything turned out the way it did to just not get clobbered by all the cars coming by. My guess is the outside lane was all jumbled up getting aggressive and pushing and somebody spun out and clipped us in the right rear. I thought we were looking good with the Monster Ford. We were coming from behind and the inside lane was open and we were making hay, but now here we are coming out of the infield care center. That is just Talladega. That is how it works out. We need to figure out how to make the cars better so everybody can bump draft a little harder.”
● Busch finished inside the top-10 for both Stage 1 and Stage 2.
● There were 11 caution periods for a total of 47 laps.
● Thirteen of the 40 drivers in the Alabama 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Brad Keselowski won the Alabama 500 to score his 24th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his third of the season and his fifth at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Newman was .210 of a second.
● Truex leads the championship standings with 3,120 points and holds a 19-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Brad Keselowski.
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 22 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN.