Kurt Busch Would Like To Add A Second Plate Victory This Year

Kurt Busch & Kasey Kahne

Kurt Busch won the Daytona 500 in February of this year at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. And he has won at just about every other type of racetrack on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup schedule.

From the shortest racetrack – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway – to a road-course victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, to Daytona, Busch has found victory. He’s won on racetracks ranging in length from .526 of a mile, .533 of a mile, .75 of a mile, 1 mile, 1.5 miles, 1.99 miles and 2 miles. He’d celebrated in victory lane at the high-banked ovals and flat tracks. He even won the championship in 2004.

Busch has won at 15 of the 23 racetracks on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule and can now shift his focus to checking another box. He’ll head to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend looking to return to his winning ways by putting a check in the win column there.

Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has finished third at Talladega four times – in April 2001, 2002 and 2007, and October 2006. But he’ll return this time with a new chassis provided by veteran crew chief Tony Gibson.

Talladega is one of only two racetracks on the NASCAR circuit where restrictor plates are used. By definition, a restrictor plate is a device installed at the air intake of an engine to limit its power. The use of a restrictor plate is intended to both limit speed and increase safety with an eye toward equaling the level of competition.

Races at Talladega and its sister track at Daytona are ones literally anyone can win. Horsepower-choked engines require drivers to draft together, side-by-side, at speeds approaching 200 mph.

This weekend, Busch would like nothing more than to add another win to his already impressive resume and win his second restrictor-plate race of the season.

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

Talk a little bit about racing at Talladega.

“It’s so difficult to predict Talladega. You can ride around in the back, or charge up front all day and, either way, your day can end with your car on the hook. You just hope to have Lady Luck guide you to a good finish. Restrictor-plate races have turned into this pattern that it is hard to have any type of advantage over any other team. It just comes down to being in the right place at the right time.”

Restrictor-plate racing has been described as a 200 mph chess match. How would you describe it?

“That’s pretty much it. You’ve got to be able to know the draft, understand the draft, use the draft, block other guys, find holes, make holes. It’s definitely a chess game because you’re always thinking three or four steps ahead. It’s tough to get caught up when you make a mistake. You’ve got to quickly get rid of that and put together a new plan. At the end of the race, everybody is saving their best for the end. Cars are just going everywhere. The plan you thought you had, you’ve got to make a new one. You’ve got to go on the fly.”

In order to be successful in a restrictor-plate race, you need some assistance from other drivers. How do you get that assistance when every driver out there is trying to beat one another?

“Cash? I don’t know. There are certain guys you know to draft with. There are certain guys you know they’re going to be tough. There are certain guys you might see work their way up, like the Fords always come in strong with Front Row Motorsports. The Roush cars are always there. The Penske cars have been tough the last five, six years at the restrictor-plate races. So, you just get a gauge as the race goes on who’s been up front all day. But you’ve got to keep track of the guys who have been hanging out in the back and they’re going to show up at the end.”

Monster Energy/Haas Automation Racing Team Report
Round 31 of 36 –  Alabama 500 – Talladega


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. 007:
Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 007 in Saturday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is a new chassis that has not been raced before. ​​
Talladega Notes of Interest:

·   The Alabama 500 will mark Busch’s 607th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 34th at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Busch has seven top-five finishes and 18 top-10s at the 2.66-mile oval. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 150 laps, has an average starting position of 20.0, an average finish of 15.6 and has completed 95.7 percent (5,995 of 6,265) 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 606 starts.


·   His most recent Cup Series win came 30 races ago in the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (Feb. 26).


·   His last Cup Series pole came 62 races ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway(March 4, 2016).


·   Busch’s best finish at Talladega is third, where he has finished four times (April 2001, 2002, 2007 and October 2006).


·   The Las Vegas native has 21 career NASCAR Cup Series poles. Busch has never won a pole at Talladega. His best start there is third, where he started in October 2010.


·   In two starts in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at Talladega, Busch has one top-five finish and two top-10s.


·   Restrictor-Plate Winner – Busch won the season-opening Daytona 500 to earn his first-ever win on a restrictor-plate racetrack.  From a road course to short tracks, from high-banked ovals to flat tracks, Busch has now won at every type of track on the circuit.


·   Thus Far in 2017 – Busch has accumulated one win, five top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 30 starts.


·   Get to the Points – With his 22nd-place finish last Sunday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Busch is 15th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 2,068 points.

Haas Automation Partner Notes:

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


Nighthawk Custom – 1306 West Trimble Ave., in Berryville, Arkansas 72616 –www.nighthawkcustom.com

Nighthawk Custom was formed in 2004 by a group of four talented gunsmiths – individuals who had a true passion for the 1911 platform. As the company grew from those original employees to approximately 65 full-time employees today, its selection and assortment of 1911s has also grown. Nighthawk Custom has expanded the product line from the original two models, the GRP and Talon, to more than 40 unique and custom versions of the 1911. Nighthawk Custom began offering a line of revolvers in 2016. These top-tier revolvers were the result of a collaboration with Korth-Waffen of Lollar Germany. Because Korth revolvers are known worldwide for their unrivaled quality and value, a partnership between Nighthawk Custom and Korth was a natural fit. At Nighthawk, each pistol is built from start to finish by a single gunsmith. The company’s slogan and philosophy, “One Gun, One Gunsmith,” is the direct result of how it builds its guns. Once a pistol is built, the builder test fires the pistol to insure that it exceeds both The Nighthawk Standard, and his own. He then uses a metal stamp to imprint his initials under the left grip panel. While this is not the fastest, most efficient, or most cost-effective way to build a firearm, this shows the highest level of ownership, and it signifies the pride and commitment the company’s gunsmiths take in the work they do.


Sterling Machinery – 104 Port Arthur Ave., in Mena, Arkansas 71953 – www.sterlingcnc.com

Sterling Machinery is located in the middle of the Ouachita Mountains in Mena, Arkansas. Mena has been the center of machining operations in Western Arkansas for more than 30 years. It was also 30 years ago that Sterling Machinery got its start. Since then, it has prided itself with establishing “the Sterling Way,” defined as a legacy of pride, quality and cost effectiveness in every part produced. This makes Sterling Machinery “unique in the marketplace.” The company specializes in fast, personalized service, prototyping, in-house fixture manufacturing, final assembly and turn-key product offerings.


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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.