Kurt Is Looking For Another Exceptional Performance At Richmond

Kurt Busch

ExxonMobil’s new high-performance product line provides exceptional performance benefits. It’s no wonder, then, that 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), was chosen to fly its colors during Sunday’s Richmond 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

Mobil 1 Annual Protection allows customers to go longer between oil changes – one full year or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. It’s a low-impact product designed to help safely reduce the amount of used oil generated through regular oil changes. In fact, more than 2 billion quarts of oil would be saved each year if every driver in the United States switched to Mobil 1 Annual Protection.

Busch will look to exceed expectations as Mobil 1 Annual Protection does this weekend at Richmond, a track where he’s had some exceptional results.

In 32 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond, Busch owns a pair of victories. The first came in September 2005, when Busch started fifth and led 185 laps en route to the win. Busch scored his second Richmond victory in April 2015 driving an SHR-prepared racecar. He turned in a dominating performance, leading six times for a race-high 291 laps and holding off his teammate Kevin Harvick, to score his first win of the 2015 NASCAR Cup Series season. In addition to his success in NASCAR’s top touring series, Busch also has a NASCAR Xfinity Series win at the .75-mile track, scoring the victory in April 2012.

But Richmond has been a bit fickle for Busch, who has had a handful of races in which he flirted with additional victories but wound up with less-than-stellar results. It was a trend the Las Vegas native changed, however, during this very race just two years ago when he was finally able to take advantage of a dominant racecar and found his way to victory lane once again.

There’s no doubt Busch has the know-how and the determination needed to put his No. 41 Mobil 1 Advanced Protection Ford Fusion in victory lane at the .75-mile oval known as “The Action Track.”

Busch heads to Richmond after a disappointing outing in Monday’s rain-delayed race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Since winning this year’s season-opening Daytona 500, Busch and his No. 41 team have scored three top-10 finishes in the first eight races but have experienced a string of bad luck. Despite that, their goals remain the same – scoring another early season victory, accumulating playoff points and returning to victory lane at Richmond.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
How much does a short-track move, like what Ricky Stenhouse did to Kyle Busch at Martinsville, pushing him out of the way at the end of the stage, open everybody’s eyes? 

“I think that moment at Martinsville is a perfect definition to the stage racing. It creates opportunities for many different things to happen, whether you’re a lapped car or you’re the leader. Short tracks, superspeedways, road courses – those are the three types of tracks that I thought would be impacted the most by stage racing. At the mile-and-a-half racetracks, we get a little bit spread out, yet there are still certain things you do because certain mile-and-a-halves chew up the tires, big-time, compared to other mile-and-a-half tracks, so the pit strategy still gets sprinkled in. I think what happened at Martinsville is a perfect definition of what the stage racing was meant to do.”


Why do you like racing at Richmond so much, and why do you think it suits your driving style?

“There are things you have to do on a short track to work on conserving the tires. Also, making sure you are good on the short run, making sure you are good on the long run, because restarts have become so much more important over the last couple of years. You don’t know if you are going to have a long run to finish the race or if you are going to have short run. You’ve just got to be ready for everything and, it seems like, at the short tracks, the preferred lane on restarts is becoming more and more important. You hope you are on the inside lane when it comes down to one of the final few restarts and, that way, you are able to gain positions instead of having to be on the defense. Richmond is a fun track. They used to call it the action track. That was when the groove would widen out and get to two, three lanes wide. We always hope to get back to that and it’s a matter of finding the right tire and the right downforce combination to allow the cars to race competitively, side-by-side, in safe situations. That is what we want to do – put on a good show.”


What is the hardest thing to figure out at Richmond?

“For me, it’s turn four. The races I’ve won there, I had a good car on the exit of turn four. Races I’ve lost or ran poorly, my exit of turn four wasn’t that good. It’s really a tough corner to get good traction put down.”

Mobil 1 Annual Protection Racing Team Report
Round 9 of 36 – Richmond 400 – Richmond

Car No.: 41 – Mobil 1 Annual Protection Ford Fusion


At-Track PR Contact: Rory Connellan, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 811, Rory.Connellan@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)

Primary Team Members:
Driver: Kurt Busch
Hometown: Las Vegas
Crew Chief: Tony Gibson
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
Car Chief: Chad Haney
Hometown: Fairmont, West Virginia

Engine Builder: Roush-Yates Engines
Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina


Engine Specialist: Todd Hamm
Hometown: Kutztown, Pennsylvania


Spotter: Tony Raines
Hometown: LaPorte, Indiana

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Rick Pigeon
Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont
Front Tire Changer: Shane Pipala
Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois

Second Gas Man: Matt Schlytter

Hometown: Ponte Vedra, Florida

Front Tire Carrier: Jon Bernal
Hometown: Holland, Michigan
Windshield: Jay Guarneri (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Jackman: Sean Cotten
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Rear Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia
Road Crew Members:
Truck Driver: Todd Cable and Rocky Boggs
Hometowns: Shelby, North Carolina, and Burlington, North Carolina
Tire Specialist: Jeff Zarrella
Hometown: Southington, Connecticut
Shock Specialist: Brian Holshouser
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Engineers: Johnny Klausmeier and Mike Cook
Hometowns: Perry Hall, Maryland, and Annapolis, Maryland

Mechanic: J.D. Frey
Hometown: Ferndale, California


Mechanic: Andy Spenner
Hometown: Hoyleton, Illinois
Chassis No. 973:
Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 973 in Sunday’s Richmond 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Built new for 2016, Chassis No. 973 debuted at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in May, when Busch finished third. It was scheduled to race in July at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, but Busch was forced to a backup car after making contact with the outside retaining wall in final practice. Chassis No. 973 was repaired and raced in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, when Busch was in position to score a top-10 finish, but contact from behind on the final lap of the race would see him take the checkered flag 16th. Chassis No. 973 next raced at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn in August, when Busch rallied for a 12th-place finish after battling a loose-handling racecar from the start of the race all the way to the checkered flag. Chassis No. 973 was most recently utilized at Kansas in October, when it was pulled off the truck as a backup car. Busch had to start from the rear of the field, but persevered and brought home a 13th-place finish. Since then, the car has received chassis updates and the body has been updated for 2017.
Richmond International Raceway Notes of Interest:
  • Kurt Busch has career totals of 29 wins, 21 poles, 126 top-five finishes and 246 top-10s in 584 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’sRichmond 400at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. His most recent NASCAR Cup Series win came in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in the season-opening Daytona 500.
  • Sunday’s Richmond 400 will mark Busch’s 33rd career NASCAR Cup Series start at Richmond. Busch has two wins, six top-five finishes and 13 top-10s at the .75-mile oval. Additionally, the 38-year-old driver has led 806 laps, has an average starting position of 17.4, an average finish of 16.1, and has completed 98.3 percent (12,592 of 12,816) of the laps he’s contested there.
  • Previous Winner – Busch owns a pair of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories at Richmond. The first came in September 2005, when Busch started fifth and led 185 laps en route to victory. Busch scored his second Richmond victory in April 2015. He turned in a dominating performance, leading six times for a race-high 291 laps, to score his first win of the 2015 season.
  • In addition to his pair of victories at Richmond, he has two runner-up finishes at the Virginia short track. The first came in September 2009 while his most recent runner-up finish came in September 2013.
  • The Las Vegas native has 21 career NASCAR Cup Series poles. Busch has never won a pole at Richmond. His best start there is second in September 2013.
  • In two starts in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at Richmond, Busch has one win (April 2012) and two top-five finishes.
  • Thus Far in 2017 – Busch has accumulated one win, one top-five finish and three top-10s in eight starts.
  • Get to the Points – With his 25th-place finish Monday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Busch enters Richmond 18th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship standings, 163 points behind series leader Kyle Larson.
  • Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) at Richmond – In 46 previous NASCAR Cup Series races at Richmond, SHR has posted one pole, one win, 10 top-fives and 20 top-10s, have been atop the leaderboard for 655 laps, and have completed 99.4 percent of the laps contested (18,332 of 18,446).
  • SHR in 2017 – Eight races into the 2017 season, SHR Ford Fusions have recorded one pole, one win, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. They have completed 9,801 of 10,568 laps contested and have collectively led 435 laps.
  • New Colors – The No. 41 Ford Fusion will carry the colors of Mobil 1’s Annual Protection this weekend at Richmond. Part of ExxonMobil’s new high performance, low-impact product line that provides exceptional performance benefits and convenience, Mobil 1 Annual Protection allows customers to go longer between oil changes – one full year or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. One year, one oil change.
  • The No. 41 Mobil 1 Annual Protection Ford will carry decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for:
  • Ø  EIT. Located at 309 Kelly’s Ford Plaza SE in Leesburg, Virginia, EIT (Electronic Instrumentation and Technology) LLC was founded in 1977 with the belief that its customers would benefit if the company supported its manufacturing team with a strong engineering team. Considered revolutionary in 1977, this belief and approach continues to guide the company today. EIT has changed and evolved, and will continue to do so as technology changes. But the commitment to supporting its customers’ needs with a strong engineering team remains.
  • Ø  Mountain Tech Inc. Located in Blairs, Virginia, Mountain Tech Inc. primarily operates in machine and miscellaneous job business within the industrial and commercial machinery and computer equipment sector.
  • Ø  Haas Factory Outlet – Phillips, a division of Phillips Corp., an exclusive dealer for Haas Automation CNC machine tools. With its main office at 8500 Triad Drive in Colfax, North Carolina, HFO Greensboro has Haas Factory Outlets in North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Alabama – including locations at the Spartanburg Community College Haas Technical Education Center in South Carolina, and the Barber Motorsports Museum near Birmingham, Alabama. Each location offers Haas sales, service, training, applications support, and spare parts.


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