MENCS: Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne Face Must Win to Advance in Playoffs


DOVER, Del. – Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne face a must-win situation if they want to keep their 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title hopes alive. Busch will start the Apache Warrior 400 13th while Kahne rolls off 21st.

Busch is currently 17 points behind the cusp to make the Round of 12 on points. After winning the Great American Race, The Daytona 500, the No. 41 team hasn’t visited victory lane. In addition to the win, the Stewart Haas Racing machine has four top-five finishes, with three coming in the last five races.

Since finding victory lane at Dover back in 2011 while driving for Team Penske, Busch has only one top five, which came in the spring race in 2016. In 34 starts in Delaware’s state capital, Busch has one win, seven top-five and nine top-ten finishes. With an average starting position of 11.5and finish of 18.6, Busch is coming off a 15th place finish in this race a year ago. Earlier this season Busch finished 37th at this track.

Kahne, who made the playoff by virtue of his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Brickyard 400 is facing an uphill battle. After having bad luck in the opening two races of the playoffs, Kahne is currently 21 points behind the cutoff line of 12, he’ll have to do what he’s never done at Dover, win. His best finish is 4th, which he has accomplished three times. The last coming in 2016’s spring race.

In 27 starts at the Monster Mile, Kahne has zero wins, three top-five and eight top-10 finishes. His average starting position is 14.0 with an average finish of 18.6. He also has seven DNF’s at the high-banked concrete mile track.

Will either make it to the Round of 12? Only time will tell.

The green flag drops on the Apache Warrior 400 at Dover International Speedway today at 2:00 pm.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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