Kurt Busch Is Up Against The Wall At Dover

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch is 15th in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points. There is one race remaining before the playoff field is cut from 16 drivers to 12 and Busch is 17 points behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Austin Dillion, who are tied for 12th.

Worried? No.

Because Busch is all in for Dover.

That’s the attitude of Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). That is also that attitude of Tony Gibson and his veteran crew.

It’s been done before – a driver on the verge of being eliminated scores a victory that propels him to the next round of the playoffs.

Busch doesn’t need to look that far as his SHR teammate Kevin Harvick has done it twice. In 2014, Harvick was in eighth place and all but eliminated but scored a huge victory at Phoenix International Raceway. Harvick locked himself into the final four at Homestead-Miami Speedway and went on to win the championship.

It happened again in 2015 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway where, again, Harvick was on the verge of elimination but led 355 of 400 laps to score a victory to advance to the next round.

That’s what Busch is hoping for going into Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 at Dover.

Busch has conquered Dover once in his career – in October 2011. He pulled away from Jimmie Johnson on a pair of late-race restarts to earn his 24th NASCAR Cup Series victory.

Busch also owns nine top-10 finishes in 34 starts at the concrete oval known as the “Monster Mile,” where he’ll look to earn both his second career Dover victory and second of 2017 Sunday.

The hill is steep but Busch knows it can be climbed. Which is why they are “all-in” at Dover.

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

Are you “all-in” for Dover?

“It’s all-in. We’ll go there with everything we’ve got, like we have been. We’ve got to find the setup that will make that car cut, that will make it go through the center of the corner, and carry that speed on exit and give it our best.”

What is it about Dover that makes it such a challenging racetrack, and what do you have to do to be successful there?

“The tough thing about Dover is things happen so quickly. At any moment, at any time, somebody can spin in front of you or you can lose control off the corners and you are going to wreck. There is no real forgiveness about Dover. That is what makes it tough. To be good there, you have to be good on corner exit. The track really rubbers in so you can see the concrete change to black as the weekend progresses. On corner exit, you get really tight or really loose. The time I won there, I could almost hold it wide open on corner exit. That is what you’ve got to have.”

Do you feel it has earned its nickname?

“It’s called the Monster Mile for a reason – the track can chew up cars and spit them out. It’s because of those tough transitions into the corners with the high banking and even the high-banked straightaways. It’s tough to do that sharp of a turn on a mile racetrack. It’s like you literally jump down into the corner and then jump back up out of the corner onto the straightaway, and so those points of the track are the toughest part – the transition from straightaway to corner. It’s a fun track to drive.”

How physically demanding of a racetrack is Dover?

“You’re just on edge there and, the speed that you have to carry on corner exit, you’re right there at the wall every corner exit and you do it 800 times with 400 laps and two corner exits. That makes it tough. This race will wear you out, for sure, and you have to pace yourself.”

What’s it like heading off into turn one at Dover? Do you focus more on corner entry or exit there?

“The drop into turn one is definitely tough. It’s one of the biggest ones we encounter on the circuit. You have to have the car nice and soft when it lands, but then the suspension has to be rigid enough to not allow the car to hit too hard. It’s a nice balance that you have to find at Dover to be successful. Most importantly, though, it is getting that corner exit when the track rubbers in because you can’t get on the tight side.”

Monster Energy/Haas Automation Racing Team Report
Round 29 of 36 –  Apache Warrior 400 – Dover


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


PR Contact: Joe Crowley, True Speed Communication (704) 875-3388 ext. 808 or Joe.Crowley@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. 1040:
Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 1040 in Sunday’s Apache Warriors 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. He raced it in March at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California and finished 24th. He then raced the chassis in May at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and finished 19th. The last time Chassis 1040 was used was in August at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, where Busch started 15th and finished 11th. ​
Dover Notes of Interest:

·   The Apache Warriors 400 will mark Busch’s 605th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 35th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover. Busch has one win, seven top-five finishes and nine top-10s at the concrete mile oval. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 426 laps, has an average starting position of 11.5, an average finish of 18.6, and has completed 92.3 percent (12,564 of 13,615) of the laps he’s contested there.


·   Busch has career total totals of 29 wins, 21 poles, 130 top-fives, 256 top-10s and 8,874 laps led in 604 starts.


·   His most recent Cup Series win came 28 races ago in the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (Feb. 26).


·   His last Cup Series pole came 60 races ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway(March 4, 2016).


·   Previous Winner – Busch started second and led 90 of 400 laps at Dover en route to recording his 24th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory on Oct. 2, 2011.Busch grabbed the lead from Jimmie Johnson on the final restart and paced the final 42 circuits to win by .908 of a second over Johnson.


·   The Las Vegas native has 21 career NASCAR Cup Series poles. Busch has never won a pole at Dover. His best qualifying effort is second, where he has started twice – June 2008 and October 2011.


·   Busch won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover in September 2000. He started from the pole and led nine laps en route to the win in his only Truck Series start at Dover.


·   Thus Far in 2017 – Busch has accumulated one win, five top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 28 starts.


·   Get to the Points – With his 37th-place finish last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Busch is 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 2,027 points. He is 122 behind series leader Martin Truex Jr., and 17 points behind the 12th and final transfer position into the next round of the playoffs.

Haas Automation Partner Notes:

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


Fleck Machine Company – 7177 Ridge Road in Hanover, Maryland 21076 –www.fleckmachine.com


Fleck Machine Company, founded in 1967, is a family owned-and-operated specialty manufacturing center headquartered in Hanover, Maryland. Fleck’s 20,000-square-foot facility houses 30 full-time employees capable of meeting the most complex machining, assembly and product development needs of its customers. Fleck’s world-class machining expertise includes precision CNC milling, precision CNC lathes, prototype development, mechanical assembly and bonded chassis work with fourth and fifth axis capability. Its customer base is focused around Aerospace and Defense Contracting. Its specialty lies in part making for military fighter aircraft, as well as land- and sea-based crafts.


Experimental Machine, Inc. – 883 East Tolna in New Freedom, Pennsylvania 17349 –www.expmachine.com


Experimental Machine has been in business since 1975 serving both military and commercial customers. It offers a full range of manufacturing services from prototyping to production. It works in partnership with its customers to drive producibility into the products, resulting in the highest-integrity part at the lowest cost. Its 46,000-square-foot facility has a full breadth of manufacturing outfitted with 5-axis machines, bonding area, clean room, autoclave, oven, water jets, paint booth, finishing booth, and inspection area. It is certified AS 9100 Rev. B Compliant, ISO 9001:2008 Registered and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Registered.


Haas Factory Outlet Greensboro – 8500 Triad Drive in Colfax, North Carolina 27235 –www.hfophillips.com


Haas Factory Outlet – Phillips, a division of Phillips Corp., is an exclusive dealer of Haas Automation CNC machine tools, serving Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Southern Carolina, Southern New Jersey and Tennessee. Phillips offers outstanding Haas sales, service, training, applications, and spare parts. Phillips also supports manufacturing education through the Haas Technical Education Centers at the University of North Carolina, Spartanburg Community College, Lanier Technical College, Tennessee College Applied of Technology, Arkansas State University, Central Alabama Community College, Johns Hopkins University, Delaware Technical and Community College, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, and Pennsylvania College of Technology, among others.


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