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Coca-Cola 600 notes: Kurt Busch charges to 3rd place

- rbonnell@charlotteobserver.com dscott@charlotteobserver.com
Monday, May. 27, 2013

Third place went to Kurt Busch, despite a battery problem in a restart following a red flag. Busch had to be towed to replace his battery but still fought back toward the front of the field.

“I’m still shell-shocked. We pick up the lead and then the battery went bad. I don’t know what to think of that,’’ Busch said. “You have to be perfect to win these things and we were close.

“Was (the lack of electricity) a cable problem? Was it the battery? Was the alternator not charging? We’ll figure it out.’’

Notes

• Denny Hamlin, trying to get back into contention for the Chase after missing races with a spinal injury, drove to fourth.

“I thought we were where we could make some noise, but I just couldn’t get my car going on restarts. It was so hard to pass three or four laps after a restart that you were pretty much stuck with your position,’’ said Hamlin.

“I’m happy with our finish, but not overjoyed.’’

• The engine in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Chevy blew up on the backstretch of Lap 252. That created a mess behind him, as Greg Biffle hit the wall after slipping in the oil that spilled onto the track. Then Dave Blaney and Travis Kvapil wrecked behind Biffle.

Earnhardt’s 39th-place finish was his lowest of the season.

“We had smoke in the cockpit for about three laps,” Earnhardt said. “I smelled something burning, like rubber. We had a massive catastrophic failure in the motor. We never have those problems.

“We didn’t have a really good car. We know why, so we can go back and rebound and be competitive.”

Another wreck, this one on Lap 317, took out defending Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who cut in front of Danica Patrick while they were three-wide with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

“Yeah, I cut Danica off,” said Keselowski, who would finish 36th. “I didn’t know she was still down there and I caused a big wreck. I feel bad for her and I send my apologies to her.”

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