The NASCAR season may over, but not Kurt Busch's racing.
Busch was edged by Will Kimmel in Saturday's Polar Bear 150 Street Stock Nationals race at Rockingham Speedway. Kimmel led 148 of 150 laps en route to his first victory at the track.
"It was a little intimidating to look back and see the No. 22 (Busch) in the mirror,” Kimmel said. “I was pretty confident in my car but at the same time it was pretty hard to keep it on the bottom where it ran the best."
Busch had to battle back after contact with Kimmel forced him to make a pit stop to pull the fender off the left-front tire. After restarting 12th, Busch capitalized on a caution to get on Kimmel’s rear bumper over the last 40 laps.
“It was just as much fun as I thought it would be. It was old school racing – toss it in sideways and drive the hell out of it," Busch said. "We got every ounce out it. There at the end I think we lost a cylinder. I could definitely feel the power loss.”
J.D. Frey finished third, Chad Hall fourth and Cliff Gaumond fifth.
The race was slowed by nine cautions for 42 laps. Ten of the 50 cars that started finished on the lead lap.
“It was as much fun as it always was,” said Busch. “There were all the lanes to choose from. We worked the low groove and the high groove. This place is so fun with the bumps and quirks.
"This racetrack, for sure, gets a gold star. Guys in our series (Sprint Cup) that are car guys – that are racers – should definitely be down here racing.”