The pit stop during the break between the first and second stages of Sunday’s Auto Club 400 certainly didn’t go the way Kurt Busch or his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing team had planned it.
Under caution on lap 63, Busch missed his pit stall, failed to get service and had to return to pit road to correct the mistake a lap later. From fifth at the end of the stage, Busch dropped to the back of the lead-lap cars for the subsequent restart on lap 67.
The 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion spent the rest of the race working his way forward, and by the time Alex Bowman took the checkered flag at the end of lap 200, Busch was third, behind only Bowman and brother Kyle Busch.
“Yeah, really happy,” Busch said of the result. “All weekend, the car just had a good vibe to it. The way it unloaded and the way we made small changes on our Monster Energy Chevy, I was really proud of this effort. To race and to do different things in the draft and to be able to gain speed with cars on the straightaway and then once you get all by yourself you actually lose speed, it’s a whole type of different racing, and I’m glad that I had a good car to do it all with, and just thanks to my guys.
“I messed up on a pit cue, but to have a third‑place run right here in (sponsor) Monster Energy’s back yard, this was a solid run for our Chevy.”