Kurt Busch described his New Hampshire pit road miscue with Ryan Blaney in a simple way.
“That was just one of those we’re two guys walking down the hallway, and we bumped into each other and had to hold each other up,” said Busch.
The two did hold each other up, although fortunately there was no contact.
Busch came down pit road for service with 74 laps to go Sunday. As the polesitter, his No. 41 team had chosen the pit stall nearest to Turn 1. When Busch made it down pit road and looked to turn into his box, Blaney, pitted behind him, appeared as if he was going to pull out since his stop was already complete.
Busch slammed on the brakes and stopped right next to an idle Blaney. Busch was told to stop by crew chief Billy Scott while Blaney and his Team Penske group were going to yield to Busch.
When green flag pit stops cycled through, Busch had gone from second to fifth.
“That’s just bad luck or bad communication between two crew chiefs,” said Busch. “And then the crew chief is like, ‘He’ll be gone by the time you get there.’ And I initially thought that and then they were still hanging left-side tires and I was like, ‘Oh no, oh no. He’s gonna be there.’
“If I would have come around him, I would have blocked him huge [and] I would have been at a bad angle.”
After one last caution and restart, Busch finished the day eighth after leading a race-high 94 laps.
“The good news is we had good speed,” Busch said. “We had good lap times most of the day. For 95 percent of the day, we had pace to be a winner and to lead laps, so that’s what I take away from a day like today, where sometimes we’d be glued sixth to 10th and don’t have the power to lead laps a lot, so I’m happy with that.
“Pit road, once in 1,000 years that’s gonna happen. We just shouldn’t have pitted on that lap. Blaney is a good kid. He wanted to let me go, but then I would have blocked him in. I was like, ‘No kid, go.’ That just turned into a total disaster and then I just didn’t get a good restart behind [Aric] Almirola when we were fifth. So, you mess up twice, you’re not gonna win the race. That’s just how it works in Monster Energy Cup.”