Kyle Busch put Sunday’s three-wide finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in movie terms.

“I hate that we had a Lightning McQueen-style finish there,” Busch said, referencing the animated feature “Cars,” “with so close of three-wide and we were the worst of it.”

In the movie, the No. 95 red McQueen car wins a three-wide race. McQueen was the middle car in the battle and through comedy movie hijinks, won the race because he stuck his tongue out to reach the finish line first.

Busch had nothing to deploy from the front of his Richard Childress Racing Cheddar’s Chevrolet, or he might have beat Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney. As life imitated art in the Ambetter 400, Busch was the middle car in the photo finish but was 0.007s from victory.

“It’s frustrating; I hate it because I felt like we were one of the top five cars today and had a good shot,” Busch said. “The 12 was fast; deservingly, they were probably one of the fastest cars. With all the carnage, obviously that happened that took out some other guys early.

“But I got a little too far ahead of the 99 , and he got a good side draft through the corner. I didn’t think the outside would prevail, but with the run down the frontstretch and the side draft that’s what hurt us. But I was looking at the 12. I swore I was ahead of the 12 at the line, but obviously, my eyes are bad. I need more powerful glasses, I guess.”

Busch was side-by-side with Suarez at the white flag, with Blaney clear ahead in the race lead. The two were still side-by-side going down the backstretch, and as the field entered Turn 3, Busch made his move. Busch shot to the middle and the right side of Blaney.

But when Busch moved to the middle, Suarez went to the far outside and made it three-wide. It became a three-wide drag race to the finish line.

“I knew you didn’t want to be ahead and I wasn’t ahead, I was second,” Busch said of the last laps. “But I didn’t think the outside would come around the outside like that. We talked about it over the radio. But it did.”

The day didn’t end with a victory, but it was still satisfying for Busch and his team. Busch qualified third and led early in the day, putting on a show by swapping the top spot with Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. in the first stage. Busch led six different times for 28 laps.

It was also an eventful day for Busch. On lap 54, he ran into former teammate Denny Hamlin when the latter thought he was clear and came across Busch’s nose. On lap 134, he was called for speeding on a green flag pit stop and had to rebound from one lap down before finding himself in contention for the victory.

“There, toward the end, you don’t really have that many alliances,” Busch said. “All of my friends kind of disintegrated and went away throughout the day, but Bubba came to the rescue and he was a huge part of our success there off of (Turn) 2 and getting a run, and getting alongside Blaney.

“It was a tight fit, but being able to make that move — if I didn’t make that move, then I push Blaney out too far through (Turns) 3 and 4 and he wins. So, glad to see a Chevy in victory lane.”