The fourth race of NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup ended early for Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), after a lap-80 accident led to a 42nd-place finish Sunday afternoon in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.
Busch qualified 24th on Friday afternoon but started from the rear of the field due to an accident in the primary car during Saturday’s final Sprint Cup Series practice.
Shortly after the start of the race, Busch radioed to the No. 41 team that his engine temperature was rising. The team noticed debris on the front of the grill that was causing the issue. After several failed attempts to remove the debris in race conditions, Busch brought the Haas Automation Chevrolet to pit road to remove the debris and complete an early four-tire pit stop. Busch was assessed a speeding penalty by NASCAR for exiting pit road too fast and was forced to return to pit road for a pass-through penalty, which caused him to fall three laps down to the leaders by lap 35.
The native of Las Vegas attempted to race his way back into contention but made contact with the outside wall following a restart on race lap 76, causing a tire rub. The No. 41 continued to race while the team evaluated the damage from atop the pit box. Busch was attempting to bring the car to pit road for repairs when the tire gave out in turn four as the leaders were completing lap 80, causing extensive damage to the vehicle. Busch drove the car to the garage for repairs, but the damage was too extensive and forced the No. 41 team to retire from the race after completing only 75 laps with a 42nd-place finish.