Outlaw breakthrough: Kurt Busch scores first top-five of season
That all changed in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway, where Busch drove to a season-best third-place finish while younger brother Kyle celebrated in Victory Lane.
When a late caution brought the field to pit road ahead of the green-white-checkered finish, Busch and Stewart-Haas teammate Tony Stewart were two of three cars that took only two tires.
Taking the final restart in the third spot, Busch battled hard with Stewart for the race lead as Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson charged from behind. With four fresh tires, the younger Busch brother and Larson were able to move past while exiting Turn 2 for the final time.
"Unreal," Kurt Busch said after the race. "The amount of emotions of running well today, executing on pit road, (crew chief) Daniel Knost did a great job. This Haas Automation Chevy was fast, and then to race your boss (Stewart) for the win. Neither one of us came home with the ‘W,’ so we’re both upset about that. At the same time, it was a genuine moment for Tony and I to race, and put it all out on the line for Stewart-Haas.
"Real happy with our team," he added. "We’ll get it. We’re making headway. We’ll get it."