NASCAR & Auto Racing

Kurt Busch gets big boost as Chase starts

Kurt Busch’s rally to make the Chase wound up with him scoring the 10th-most points in the regular season, but thanks to having two victories he’ll start the Chase with 5,020 points. He and Carl Edwards are at that number, behind only Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.

“We’re poised to be a threat in this deal,” said Busch, who finished ninth Saturday night despite having damage to the rear of his No. 2 Dodge from a wreck just past the midway point.

“We have fast race cars, we have consistency and we have patience. And the best thing is we’ve got that experience.”

Busch won the 2004 championship in the first year of the Chase. Crew chief Pat Tryson, whose July addition to Busch’s team at Penske Racing has proved to be one of the season’s key personnel changes on any team, has been in the Chase every year. He was crew chief for Mark Martin the past three years.

Busch said his heart was “beating 1,000 miles per hour” after he got hit in the back during the wreck on Lap 242.

“I figured the rear bumper cover was flapping in the wind or there might be stuff dragging on the tires and we would have to give up all of our track position,” Busch said.

“Luckily there was a red flag and we checked the car out and everything was OK.”