Kurt Busch finished second in Sunday’s GEICO 500 for his first top-five finish of 2018 and his best finish at Talladega Superspeedway in 35 races.
Busch started from the outside of the front row and was in the mix to the checkered flag but wasn’t able to run down race winner Joey Logano and took the checkered flag in the runner-up spot.
"It was an awesome finish," Busch said. "But I thought two Stewart Haas cars running second and third should have been able to pull this off. (Ricky Stenhouse) Stenhouse came up from behind and tried to make some moves. Nine times out of the 10 the 17 car statistically is going to be the guy to beat at a plate race. Once he got to my rear bumper the one time and pushed me by Kevin (Harvick), he didn’t get to stay with me. I lost track of him.
"Everybody from Chase (Elliott) and Stenhouse, everybody is back there three wide ripping and gouging, trying to go hard. It takes two cars to try to break through the leader. I’m happy that a Ford won. It wasn’t the right one."
Busch was hoping to work with the likes of Harvick, Elliott, Stenhouse Jr. and others in the closing laps but nobody made a move leaving the pack to watch Logano drive to Victory Lane.
"That’s what common sense would say," he said of making a plan with others. "I was going to roll with Kevin whichever direction he went. Stenhouse came with such a run from behind, I knew at that point the 9 (Elliott) would shove to the inside, then it would be the 17 (Stenhouse Jr.) and 41 (Busch) to the outside. It happened for half a straightaway then things kind of broke apart with everybody getting stuck side by side.
"If I had to do it all over again, I just needed to manage the run that the 17 had on me because when we stayed single file, the 22 (Logano), the 4 (Harvick) and the 41, we could lay down some good lap times and the others couldn’t quite catch us."