By Toby Christie, NASCAR Editor
Every year it becomes harder and harder to believe, but after another solid effort Saturday night, Kurt Busch still hasn’t won a race at a restrictor plate race.
Busch started the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona from the 10th position, but he quickly asserted himself as a contender for the win. He knifed his way to the top-five early and would stay there virtually all night long. As Brad Keselowski dominated the night, Busch methodically held put in the top-five and just bided his time.
In the closing laps of the race, Busch looked like the only driver who had something for Keselowski and on the final lap of the race, Busch looked to make his move.
He cut his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet to the low side and was blocked, he then slid to the top side of the track and was blocked again. As Keselowski pulled him down the backstretch Busch built up one last charge, but as he reached turns three and four, Busch was sent for a ride when Keselowski’s teammate Joey Logano made contact with Busch’s No. 41 machine on the exit of the final turn.
The final lap that crowned Brad @Keselowski the champ of the #CokeZero400. https://t.co/1DaWWQg8ZV
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 3, 2016
Busch climbed from his car disappointed and he took exception with how Logano pushed him on the final lap.
“We positioned ourselves to be the car to get a good run off the bottom. It just didn’t work out with [Logano] trying to drive straight through us. And it would have worked out better if he would have pushed us,” Busch explained. “We could have had a shot at [Keselowski]. And with just the way that it turned out, I feel disappointed that I didn’t get the win for [Crew Chief, Tony] Gibson and all these guys that work for our team. We did everything right except cross the line where we were supposed to.”
What could have been Busch’s first restrictor plate victory, what should have at least been a decent top-five finish turned into a disappointing 23rd-place effort.