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Kurt Busch: ‘It was great to drive the car’

SHARE Kurt Busch: ‘It was great to drive the car’

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Kurt Busch had kept quiet after returning from his suspension, staying out of the spotlight at Michigan International Speedway while preparing for the Sprint Cup race.

Then he finished third in the Nationwide race Saturday — and as is the custom for those who finish near the top, he showed up at the media room.

"It was great to drive the car," Busch said.

And that was all he had to say to a question about his return from a one-week suspension. Busch was penalized for verbally abusing a media member and missed last weekend's races at Pocono. The winner of that Cup race, Joey Logano, followed up with a victory Saturday in the Nationwide race, holding off James Buescher and Busch.

Busch came quickly to the media room afterward, arriving before other drivers. Then he stepped out the door. Reporters followed him before being assured he would be back to take questions.

Busch stepped behind the microphone after Buescher and fourth-place Cole Whitt finished.

"It was a great finish, all in all," Busch said. "The restart before the final one, I was on the inside and went from third to eighth, and then the restart on the final one, I went from eighth back up to third."

The last restart came after what was initially a red flag with seven laps to go following an accident involving Josh Richards and Jamie Dick. Flames shot briefly out of Dick's car, but both drivers were evaluated and released after the crash.

Busch didn't say much when asked how it felt to be back from his suspension. Busch landed with Phoenix Racing in December after parting ways from Penske Racing because of a series of incidents mainly related to his temper.

He's still with Phoenix Racing for Sunday's Sprint Cup race. Busch met Tuesday with team owner James Finch, and the duo agreed to move forward.

Logano held off Buescher for his fifth Nationwide win of the year and 14th of his career. He has won four of the last five races in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

"I've just had a lot of confidence in myself lately and my abilities and knowing what I can do," Logano said. "There hasn't been an opportunity that we let slip up yet."

Buescher tried to pass Logano on the inside in the final seconds but wasn't able to and settled for second place, 0.208 seconds behind.

"We took a shot at it at the end," Buescher said. "As long as you're in position, that's all you can ask for."

There were seven cautions for 26 laps in the 125-lap race. Logano needed to hold on after the last one.

"When I started on the inside, I got beat every time," Logano said. "I was like, 'I'm getting beat when I'm on the bottom so I might as well try the top.' It worked."

Logano took only a couple questions in the media room before leaving for an extra practice for Sprint Cup racers Saturday night. The Cup cars have been exceeding 200 mph this week, and NASCAR made a tire switch for Sunday's race. Logano was anxious to make it to practice after the Nationwide race, but was told he had to take a couple questions first.

"It's killing me right now," Logano said. "I learned a lot that I need to go work on in my Home Depot car."

Danica Patrick went into an early spin and finished 18th after a problem-filled race. Pole winner Austin Dillon finished fifth.

Dillon is second in the Nationwide standings behind Elliott Sadler, who finished 11th on Saturday.

Logano led for the final 24 laps. Paul Menard led for 37 laps but finished eighth.

"We've been on a roll lately and we've just got to keep it going," Logano said.