Photo: Stewart-Haas Racing
Date: Oct. 8, 2017
Event: Bank of America 500 (Round 30 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three stages (90 laps/90 laps/154 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/22nd (Running, completed 337 of 337 laps)
Point Standings: 16th with 2,068 points
Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota) in overtime
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-90):
● Kurt Busch started eighth, finished eighth.
● Busch said his No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion was loose in and tight off the corners during the opening laps.
● On lap 37 Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a right-rear adjustment to improve the tight-handling condition.
● The Monster Energy/Haas Automation team finished Stage 1 in eighth before pitting at the start of Stage 2.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 91-180):
● Started eighth, finished fifth.
● Busch’s Monster Energy/Haas Automation crew told him that he was the fastest car on the track by a tenth prior to the lap-116 caution period.
● The Monster Energy/Haas Automation driver cracked the top-five in the closing laps of Stage 2 and maintained position to the end of the stage.
● Busch hit pit road on lap 181 prior to starting the final stage for four tires and fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 181-334):
● Started 10th, finished 22nd.
● Busch worked his way up to sixth shortly after the restart and maintained that spot the majority of the stage.
● By lap 305 Busch worked his way up to the third position.
● As the race neared completion, Busch was “hunting for grip.” Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to hang on to his Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford, ultimately spinning on lap 331.
● Busch finished the race in the 22nd position.
● Busch finished inside the top-10 for both Stage 1 and Stage 2.
● There were 10 caution periods for a total of 44 laps.
● Twenty-four of the 40 drivers in the Bank of America 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Martin Truex Jr. won the Bank of America 500 to score his 13th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his sixth of the season and his second at Charlotte. His margin of victory over second-place Chase Elliott was .911 of a second.
● Truex leads the championship standings with 3,106 points and holds a 34-point advantage over his nearest pursuer, Kyle Larson.
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Alabama 500 on Sunday, Oct. 15 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is the fifth race of the 10-race playoffs, and it starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC beginning at 1 p.m.