Busch gets wet win in New Hampshire
The Associated Press
LOUDON, N.H. — Kurt Busch had strategy and luck on his side. Tony Stewart had neither.
That’s how Busch wound up ending his 29-race winless string Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301, while the frustrated Stewart simply added another disheartening loss to his own winless string that has reached 31 races.
“Sometimes you just don’t win ‘em the right way,” Busch said. “I think we can honestly say that, but we had a lot of work and a lot of effort put in today and we’ll take it.”
It is the first victory for the Penske Racing driver since September at California Speedway, and it came on a day when two-time Cup champion Stewart dominated, leading 132 of 284 laps, only to see the hard luck that has dogged him all season continue.
Busch hasn’t had much to celebrate this season, either.
Since finishing second to teammate Ryan Newman in the season-opening Daytona 500, the 2004 Cup champion had finished in the top 10 only once and came into this event 22nd in the points.
But Sunday turned out to be his day, thanks to crew chief Pat Tryson’s decision to keep his No. 2 Dodge on track when Stewart and several other lead cars pitted during a late caution period.
When rain eventually ended the race 17 laps short, with the field under a red flag on pit road, Busch had his 18th career victory and Stewart was an unhappy 13th.
“I’ve been on the flipside of it plenty of times,” Busch said. “There’s those times when you just grit your teeth and go, ‘What could we have done different? Why did it happen this way?’ So it isn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.”