Kurt Busch happy to be in NASCAR comfort zone

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 22, 2014 at 6:56 pm •  Published: May 22, 2014
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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Kurt Busch was back in his element Thursday

Busch was in North Carolina for Sprint Cup qualifying — a welcome return to what he knows best.

"I was on the plane ride back and I'm like, 'You know, I'm going to be back in my Cup car and be back in the comfort zone,'" he said.

The former Sprint Cup champion has had a split focus all month as he prepares for Sunday's Double attempt, hoping to become just the second driver to complete the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. He looked at home Thursday, posting the eighth-fastest speed of 191.042 mph in practice.

That didn't hold up in qualifying as Busch ended 28th and failed to advance to the second round of the knockout session. Busch's fastest lap was 189.553 mph, meaning he and his No. 41 team have some work to do before Sunday night much as they have the past few weeks.

While they won at Martinsville Speedway in March to seemingly lock up a spot in the 16-driver championship Chase, Busch stands 28th in Sprint Cup points.

Busch hasn't finished better than 23rd in the five points races since his win at Martinsville. He didn't practice for last week's All-Star race, showing up and running "cold turkey." Busch ended up 11th. Some might wonder if Busch's time at Indy is costing him in NASCAR. He says no.