BRISTOL, Tenn. - Kurt Busch secured his best finish since joining Furniture Row Racing on Sunday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway but it didn't come easy.
Busch made two pit stops, including one under the green, for a loose wheel but used a wave-around and a fast car to get back on the lead lap. He was one of six drivers within 1.5 seconds of the lead at the end of Sunday's race and finally feels as though he's established some momentum with his new team.
"This whole team was just fast at the end," Busch said. "We had a little bit of damage from some contact with Logano. I knew I was going to be racing Kyle and racing Keselowski; I was just hoping it was for the win. Kahne just checked out. Congratulations to him. But a good run for us."
Busch believes that he was the fastest on the track in the closing laps and thinks that he could have contended with the win if Hamlin's contact with the wall had brought out the caution. And where in the past Busch might have been disappointed with a top-five finish at his best track, he was really excited upon getting out of his car, giving each of his crew members a high-five before addressing the media.
"I just want to say thanks to all of our guys for just digging in," Busch said. "I told everybody slap some high-fives. And while we all have some areas that we can still polish up on, a top-five at Bristol and to be the fastest car on the track with less than 10 to go is pretty exciting."
With the top-five finish, Busch moves into 16th place in the championship standings and just 17 points out of 10th. Some in the garage expected Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion, to contend for a Chase berth. Busch believes that's not out of the question as long as everyone, himself included, continues to build on the momentum that Bristol provided.
"If I can do a little better and if the guys can do a little bit more here and there, we can start to make some strides," Busch said. "We used this poor No. 78 car up today and it's just good that we got everything rolling this weekend. We needed it."