By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
A late charge for the win fell through for Kurt Busch, as he tired catching race winner Joey Logano in the tri-oval.
With little drafting help, Busch had to settle for second in Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, leading five of 188 laps.
It’s Busch’s first top-five since Kansas last October, and his eighth at the 2.66-mile circuit.
“We just needed the assistance from behind,” said Busch The 17 car (Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.) was strong. All the Fords were great today. I was hoping he would get to us on the back straightaway so we could go on offense on the front to go win it but it just didn’t materialize.”
During the closing laps, the Ford train kept it tame and led the pack. When it was gut check time, Busch and teammate Kevin Harvick moved lane to lane, looking for the ideal line to pass Logano.
Busch passed Harvick for second after riding behind him for much of the race, allowing him to become the instigator of potentially taking a win from Logano.
As Logano took the white flag, no major moves were being made. Heading into the backstretch, Logano and Busch slightly pulled away from the draft.
Without assistance from Harvick, Busch tried getting close to Logano and pull a slingshot, but it was too late.
Busch added he wished Harvick and the rest of the lead pack didn’t run too hard, denying a winning pass.
“I wanted to stay with Harvick, my teammate, and navigate around the 22 (Logano),” Busch added. “But everyone behind kind of broke off and was racing too hard and nobody got that big head of steam to try to push through and break apart the 22’s lead.”
Busch’s runner-up finish extends his winless streak, dating back to his Daytona 500 victory last year, to 45 races.
Despite disappointment, it was a solid points day for the 39-year-old. Busch improved from eighth to fifth, 127 markers behind brother Kyle after 10 races.
“It was one of the best Fords I have ever had here and it was fun to race it and lead some laps and be right there but I just didn’t get the job done. The 22 out-foxed us and we didn’t get the push from behind to go on offense at the end but a top-five day so I can’t really complain.”