Busch begins his tenure with new team

It wasn’t the debut Kurt Busch had hoped for in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet.

Busch qualified 21st and ran as high as 12th in the early stages of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Bank of America 500 Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but was forced to settle for 21st after a series of setbacks.

The first came when trash from the track built up on the front of his car.

"With all this crap on the grille, you think we’d be loose, but we’re tight through the apex," he radioed his team. Spotter Rick Carelli told him that they had a napkin or something on the front of the car.

The team also had an issue with its radios at one point in the race, but recovered from the setbacks and Busch was working his way forward when his car developed a tight condition in the second half of the race. That hampered his effort and left him with a 21st-place finish.

Busch gets a little extra time with the team now. They will test this week at Sandusky (OH) and Kansas Speedway before next weekend’s race, which is also at Kansas.

He wasn’t the only driver trying something new Saturday.

AJ Allmendinger, subbing for Regan Smith in the No. 51 Phoenix Chevrolet and in his first race back from a NASCAR suspension, ran in the top 20 before NASCAR penalized him for the car having a tire outside of the pit box on Lap 265.

Allmendinger served a pass-thru penalty on Lap 269 and finished 24th.

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