Race Recap for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Date: April 9, 2017
Event: O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (Round 7 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 334 laps, broken into three stages (85 laps/85 laps/164 laps)
Start/Finish: 34th/15th (Running, completed 334 of 334 laps)
Point Standing: 7th (211 points, 104 out of first)
Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85):
- Started 34th, finished 10th.
- Busch started toward the rear after not being able to make it out in time Friday for qualifying.
- The Las Vegas native steadily moved up through the field, joining the top-10 by lap 78.
- Busch pitted following the conclusion of the stage, as the Interstate Batteries Camry had a hole in the right front from contact on pit road. Once those repairs were made, it was discovered that there was some left-rear damage.
- Crew chief Adam Stevens called Busch back down pit road for those repairs, and he restarted toward the back of the lead-lap cars.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86-170):
- Started 28th, finished 11th.
- Busch worked his way up through the field in Stage 2, making it up to the top-10 by lap 139.
- The caution waved with less than 10 laps to go in Stage 2, setting the table for a restart with three laps to go in the stage.
- The Interstate Batteries team pitted for four tires and adjustments on lap 165, putting Busch eighth on the aforementioned restart.
- Busch felt the right-front splitter was dragging on the restart, and he fell to 11th once the stage was over.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 171-334):
- Started fifth, finished 15th.
- Several cars pitted at the end of Stage 2, putting him fifth on the restart at the beginning of Stage 3.
- With the handling issue that caused Busch to be tight on both ends of the racetrack, the Interstate Batteries Camry settled into eighth place.
- Busch made pits stops on lap 222 and 270 for adjustments as the handling of the Interstate Batteries kept getting worse, and he fell to 12th by lap 300.
- Over the course of the final 30 laps of green-flag racing Busch lost more spots, his car just too tight to make up any ground.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
"Earlier in the race, our Interstate Batteries Camry was good at times. We had some setbacks and were able to get back up towards the front. Later in the race, it seemed like we just lost what we had in the first part of the race. I know I have some work to do here at the repaves, and we’ll talk about it and hopefully have a much better day when we come back here in the fall.”
Team Interstate Results:
- Kyle Busch 15th
- Matt Kenseth 16th
- Daniel Suarez 19th
- Denny Hamlin 25th
Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Food City 500 on Sunday, April 23 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX.