The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

August 18, 2013

Tight race for final spots in Chase

(Continued)

“Indy really killed us. That was the turning point for us,” he said. “We felt like we were really on some momentum and qualified 27th and finished 24th and never ran better than that all day. That buried us in the points.”

Busch, the 2004 Cup champ, is closing fast in a bid for what would be a surprising spot in the Chase. He’s only two points out of 10th place, and he qualified second for Sunday’s race for Furniture Row Racing.

“We have four weeks to go and we’re in great position,” he said. “It’s been neat to feel the energy from the team.”

Busch has finished in the top 10 in five of his last seven races. Of course, he finished 35th at Michigan in June after an early spin.

The MIS track has been a feast-or-famine experience for Busch over the years. He has two Cup wins at Michigan, the most recent in 2007. But in 25 starts, he’s finished 30th or lower 11 times.

That includes showings of 35th, 30th, 30th and 34th in his last four Cup starts at MIS. He did finish third in a Nationwide race there in 2012.

The stakes are higher now, because of the year Busch is having and the opportunity that could await if he can finish strong in the last few races of the Sprint Cup’s regular season.

“Michigan has been real good or real bad. So, if you go by the law of averages I hope this time around is pretty good,” Busch said. “I look at this one as the toughest out of the next four weeks — this week here at Michigan. If we get through this, then I think we’ve got a really good shot at things.”

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