DENVER, Colo. – The ultra-fast 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway will be a welcome site for Kurt Busch, who is coming off the most miserable weekend of racing since joining the Denver-based Furniture Row team late in the 2012 season.
“Martinsville Speedway did us in on Sunday,” stated Busch, who finished 37th at the southern Virginia short track. “We were running as high as seventh then the calamity started. We had a flat tire, got spun out, had a fuel pump issue and then ended the race in a fiery blaze due to a brake failure. Bring on Texas! Can’t wait to get to that fast oval.”
The Martinsville fiasco came after Busch and his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet were on a roll, posting consecutive top-five finishes at Bristol (4th) and California (5th).
“We lost too many (driver) points last week and need to regroup and have a strong effort in Texas and bank a lot of points,” explained Busch, who dropped from 13th to 19th in the Sprint Cup standings.
Another reason Busch is looking forward to the Texas Motor Speedway weekend is that he will receive a special award Thursday night at the track’s Hall of Fame Gala, benefitting Speedway Children’s Charities. Busch, who has helped raise more than $40,000 for the Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas Chapter, will receive the Maj. General Thomas Sadler Award during the ceremony.
Saturday night’s NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race will be Busch’s 21st career start at the Texas track, located in Forth Worth. His record in the Lone Star state is one win (November 2009), three top-fives, 12 top-10s and 235 laps led. His average start is 16.4 and average finish 14.1.
One of Busch’s top-10 finishes at Texas came last fall, an eighth-place result in his fourth race with Furniture Row Racing.
“That was my first top-10 with Furniture Row Racing,” noted Busch. “Though we don’t have the same car as we did at our last stop in Texas, we do have good data. I am looking forward to another strong run there in our Furniture Row/Serta Chevrolet.”
While Busch’s No. 78 Chevrolet has shown strong potential this season, the team has had to deal with a number of issues, something that it will hope to rectify in Texas.
“Our problem so far is that we’re making this more difficult than what it should be. We haven’t had a clean race this year due to a combination of bad breaks, mechanical issues and mistakes. We managed to work through some of those problems in Bristol and California where we had strong finishes, but it caught up to us in Martinsville and there were too many issues to overcome. We have the potential, that’s a given.”