Kyle Busch ran out of fuel at Chicagoland and finished 22nd, which was only his third finish outside the top 15 since the Coca-Cola 600.
For a driver who had come into the Chase as the No. 1 seed and one of the favorites to win the title, it was clearly a "disappointing finish," as Busch called it Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
"Guys were upset," he said. "It's not indicative of how we ran. We just went back to the shop and tried to work on everything that caused us problems."
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said the team worked on refueling procedures – perhaps a hint the gas tank wasn't as full as it should have been at Chicagoland – and was encouraged by a recent test at the Milwaukee Mile (which is a flat track similar to New Hampshire).
Busch also said the piece of debris that hit his car during the race caused significant damage. He didn't know what it was, he said, but it was "heavy."
"We're ready to get back at it," he said.
Busch, who dropped to ninth in points, was asked if fuel-mileage races such as the one that provided a setback to his Chase hopes at Chicagoland were good for the sport and if there was anything NASCAR could do about them.
His response was the new model Cup cars are "just harder to spin out." Thus, a lack of cautions and more long green-flag runs toward the end of the race.
"The old cars were a lot easier to spin out sometimes, or you'd get underneath the back of somebody and jack 'em up," Busch said. "Unless you want to see more debris cautions at the end of races, really there's no way to fix it. It is what it is. It's just a product of what you got."
Busch noted that even at short-track races, he's seen 125-lap events go green the whole way.
"People say, 'Oh, well, that was a boring race because there was no wrecks,'" he said. "Well, what do you want to see? Do you want to see wrecking or do you want to see racing?"