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Pit-road issues cost Busch Chase spot
Updated Sep 9, 2012 2:58 AM ET
Kyle Busch watched his 2012 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup hopes fade away in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
A midrace decision by crew chief Dave Rogers to not pit during the sixth and final caution on Lap 277 of 400 of the race at Richmond International Raceway turned out to be disastrous.
“What do you mean we’ve got to stay out? It was the (expletive) one (lap) to go (expletive),” Busch shrieked.
By Lap 324 of the rain-delayed race at Richmond, Busch was lapped by race leader and eventual winner Clint Bowyer.
Rogers asked his driver, “What do you need, bud?”
The driver simply replied, “I don’t (expletive) care.”
Ten laps later Busch pitted. With a miscue with lugs on the right rear tire, Busch dropped to 27th, three laps down. Although he was able to move up to 18th in 15 laps, Busch was mired in traffic and only recovered two positions in the final 40 laps. But with Jeff Gordon’s second-place finish, his No. 24 bested Busch by three points for the second wild-card berth.
“We missed it, my fault,” Rogers said over the radio. “One hundred percent my fault.”
“We missed,” Busch said. “That’s it plain and simple.”
Busch entered the race with a 12-point lead for the final Chase spot.