Kurt Busch Is On A Hot Roll

Kurt Busch

 It doesn’t matter if it’s Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association or the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing – it’s good to be hot when the playoffs start.

Football’s 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 2010 Green Bay Packers were the lowest seeds, but won the Super Bowl. Hockey’s Los Angeles Kings were the lowest seed in the 2012 playoffs but won the Stanley Cup.

Who can forget baseball’s Miracle Mets of New York who in 1969 won 24 of their last 32 games in the regular season and beat the Baltimore Orioles four games to one to win the World Series.


Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has one win and is 13th in points with one race remaining until NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs start next week at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. But he is coming off back-to-back top-five finishes after placing fifth at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and third last weekend at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

He hasn’t finished lower than 13th in his last five races and has three top-10s. And Busch is hoping to have another successful event in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

In 33 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond, Busch owns a pair of victories. The first came in September 2005, when he started fifth and led 185 laps along the way. 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 at Richmond. 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, in the spring Richmond 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.

Busch is hoping he and the Haas Automation/Monster Energy team are ready for the 10-race playoffs that will determine the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

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.”

The playoffs start next week. Your thoughts on the playoffs?

“We’ve had a couple of good runs but, still, we’ve got 11 weeks ahead of us. We treated last weekend like it was the playoffs. Richmond will be the same thing this week.”

Haas Automation/Monster Energy Racing Team Report
Round 26 of 36 –  Federated Auto Parts 400 – Richmond


Car No.: 41 – Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion


PR Contact: Mike Arning, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388, ext. 802, Mike.Arning@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. 1032:

Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 1032 in Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Built new for 2016, Chassis No. 1032 debuted in November at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where Busch started 10th and finished 20th. Since then, Chassis No. 1032 was outfitted with a new front clip and body in preparation for its last race in March at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch started 13th and finished seventh.

Richmond Notes of Interest:

· The Federated Auto Parts 400 will mark Busch’s 602nd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 34th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Richmond. Busch has two wins, six top-five finishes and 14 top-10s at the .75-mile oval. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 806 laps, has an average starting position of 17.1, an average finish of 15.8, and has completed 98.3 percent (12,992 of 13,216) of the laps he’s contested there.


· Busch has career total totals of 29 wins, 21 poles, 129 top-fives, 255 top-10s and 8,874 laps led in 601 starts.


· His most recent Cup Series win came 25 races ago in the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (Feb. 26).


· His last Cup Series pole came 57 races ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway(March 4, 2016).


· 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.


· 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, four top-five finishes and 12 top-10s in 25 starts.


· Get to the Points – With his third-place finish last Sunday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Busch enters Richmond 13th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 624 points and is 376 behind series leader Martin Truex Jr.



·   The No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion will carry decals on the lower-rear quarter panel for:


Lincoln Tech – 7225 Winton Drive Building 128 in Indianapolis  — www.lincolntech.edu/campus/indianapolis-in


At Lincoln Tech,students take control of their futures with training for careers in the automotive, electrical and electronics, manufacturing, collision repair and diesel industries.


The school offers:


CNC machines provided by Haas Automation, which students use to learn how to program, operate and gain industry-specific, hands-on skills. 37 auto bays, 16 diesel bays and four collision paint booths set in a 63,000-square-foot training center.


A pre-wired smart house and other facilities for Electrical and Electronic Systems Technology (EEST) students to practice the latest techniques in installation, fiber optic cabling, fire alarms and more.


Mega labs for automotive and diesel programs.


Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program, in which students learn how to make cars look like new again through structural analysis, airbrushing, paintless dent repair techniques and more.The program’s Blended Learning format allows students to complete some coursework online from home in order to make the most of their time on campus in the school’s real, working, collision-repair bays and paint booths.


The campus is located in what is considered “The Racing Capital of the World,” as more than 400 motorsports firms based in the Indianapolis area.



Haas Factory Outlet Chicago – 555 Busse Road in Elk Grove Village, Illinois –www.hfochicago.com


Haas Factory Outlet Chicago, a division of Midwest Machinery Resources, serves Northern Illinois and Indiana with American-made, high-tech Haas Automation CNC machine tools. HFO Chicago is committed to customer service and ensuring that customers have the lowest overall cost and the highest overall value. HFO Chicago also supports manufacturing education through the Haas Technical Education Centers at Vincennes University and Illinois State University, among others.


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