Mar 18, 2013, 12:15 PM EDT
After narrowly taking Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at BMS, The Rowdy One started from pole for the Sprint Cup Food City 500. But after pacing the first 55 circuits, he tumbled all the way to 35th after getting tagged by NASCAR for entering pit road too quickly on his first stop at Lap 56.
That didn’t stop Busch, who steadily rose back up the pylon despite a tight-handling No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. With less than 100 laps to go, he finally broke into the Top 5 thanks to a two-tire stop under yellow and on the final restart of the day at Lap 459, Busch grabbed second place from Brad Keselowski and held on for a hard-earned runner-up.
“I just wish our car was faster there at the end,” Busch said. “We got to where we were single file there with Kasey, and he just took off and I couldn’t keep up with him.
“…All in all, these guys on this M&M’s Camry did a great job for me, and we worked really hard all day and really battled back from another penalty. Need to stop getting those and just stay up front all day and be able to run our own race.”
This was the second week in a row that Busch has had to overcome a speeding penalty on his first stop of the day. Last weekend in Las Vegas, he dropped to 19th after the penalty but came back to finish fourth at his home track.