DENVER, Colo. – Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will mark Todd Berrier’s one-year anniversary as crew chief for Furniture Row Racing.
Since joining the team at the 2012 Brickyard race, Berrier has shown his A-list talents, directing the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet to five top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in the past 36 point races. A marked improvement for the Denver-based team, which had only two top-fives and five top-10s in the 182 career starts prior to Berrier’s arrival.
“Furniture Row Racing had a strong foundation and commitment when I was hired as crew chief and much of the credit for the team’s upswing is due to the quality of people who have been working on the program,” said a modest Berrier. “And having a talented driver like Kurt Busch driving your car makes everyone look good. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long ways to go.”
Berrier, who has eight career Cup victories as a crew chief, including the 2003 Brickyard 400 and 2007 Daytona 500, feels the team is in a critical stage of the season as it continues its hunt to qualify for the Chase.
With seven races remaining before the start of the Chase, Busch is in 14th place in driver points, only seven markers from 10th, the final Chase position before the two wildcard entries.
“The potential is there, it’s just a matter of execution,” explained Berrier, who has made three Chase appearances as crew chief. “Kurt stresses consistency and that’s what we’ve been lacking at times due to mistakes and a more than an usual amount of bad luck. This is a tight battle to make the Chase with so many drivers in contention. While it’s great theater for the fans, it’s a little nerve-wracking for all of us on the inside.”
Busch, who will drive the Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet in the 20th Running of the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard, has high praise for Berrier.
“Each week the Furniture Row guys have been giving me fast cars and Todd has done a masterful job in managing the speed at all the tracks,” said Busch, the 2004 NASCAR champion. “He is the leader and his experience has been a great sounding board for all of us. His talent and knowledge of the sport have been key in keeping us in contention for the Chase.”
The famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Busch successfully tested an Indy car for Andretti Autosport back in May has not been a kind place for him. In 12 Cup starts at Indy, Busch has one top-five and four top-10s.
“Indy has been a tough track for me,” noted Busch, a 24-time tour winner. “It’s been frustrating there just to find the groove over the years. My first time at Indy I got a top-five and never gotten another one since.
“I had a great experience at Indy testing an Andretti Autosport Indy car. It’s an awesome feeling to race at this historic track and a victory at the Brickyard is what drivers want on their resume. But we also have to be concerned about points. We took a big hit at the last race in New Hampshire and need to get back into the top-10. We’re right there, but need to avoid mistakes and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
-Furniture Row Racing PR