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Kurt Busch sees race end up in smoke

The engine in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1 fails Kurt Busch during the Cup Series playoff race at Kansas, which dramatically affects his Round of 8 outlook.

Kurt Busch is in a must-win situation to make the championship race after his engine blew in Saturday’s Round of 8 playoff race at Kansas Speedway.

Busch’s engine expired only a few laps after he reported his car was losing power.

“I haven’t seen an engine problem in years,” Busch told NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. “It’s a shame for everybody at Chip Ganassi Racing. ... The odds were stacked against us but, hey, we’re in the top eight for a reason.”

The 2004 Cup champion entered the playoffs last among the eight remaining playoff drivers in the points. He came into the race 21 points out of the final transfer spot to the title race. Busch finished 38th in the 40-car field.

This is second time in the last three races that Busch has failed to finish. He was collected in a crash at Talladega and placed 32nd two weeks ago.

The series heads to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend and the Round of 8 finishes in two weeks at Martinsville Speedway.