Kurt Busch Would Like To Matriculate His Car To Victory Lane

Kurt Busch

Hank Stram always liked Kansas City.

The Gary (Ind.) Lew Wallace High School and Purdue University graduate was head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs from 1963 to 1974.

Stram led the Chiefs to two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl IV 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings.

He was made famous by wearing a microphone for NFL Films during the winning Super Bowl and telling the offense, “Just keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys.”

And, with the Chiefs on the goal line, calling for his favorite play, “65 toss power trap.”

So what does all this have to do with Kurt Busch?


But Busch would like to matriculate his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) all the way to victory lane Sunday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.


It’s one of only eight tracks on the schedule where he has not seen victory lane in his great career.


He’s won 29 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and his first came at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Driving the No. 97 Ford, he found his way to the winner’s circle in just his third start at the .533-mile oval. It took 32 attempts at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway to find his way to victory lane, but he was finally able to do so in the 2017 season-opening Daytona 500.


At the eight mile-and-a-half venues where the NASCAR Cup Series competes, Busch has earned a total of six victories. They’ve come at four tracks – three at Atlanta Motor Speedway and one apiece at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch is still searching for victory lane at four – Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Kansas.


Busch has been running at the end of all but two of the races in which he’s competed at the 1.5-mile oval, the first non-finish coming prematurely with an engine failure in 2003, the other due to an accident in October 2014. And in addition to a pair of top-five finishes and seven top-10s in 23 starts there, Busch owns one pole at Kansas, having scored the top starting spot in June 2011. The Kansas pole was the first of three consecutive poles Busch scored that month.


So while “65 toss power trap” won’t do much for Busch at Kansas, he’s hoping he can formulate a big play to find victory lane.


KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Kansas hasn’t always been a strong racetrack for you but, as of late, that seems to be changing. Do you agree?


“Kansas has been a good track and a tough track. It’s fun to go race there and, with the way the tires change and the downforce has changed, I haven’t quite found that perfect combination to win. But, as of late, we consider it one of our strong tracks.”


What has been the key to your three top-10 finishes in three of your five most recent starts at Kansas?


“I think it’s a matter of being on the right pit strategy and understanding when to pit for the final time. Track position becomes so important at these fast mile-and-a-half tracks that, if you are stuck around 10th or 12th, there is no way to crack that top-five. You’ve got to be there before the final sequences start. But, honestly, a big part of it has been having this great car setup by Tony Gibson and everyone on the Haas Automation/Monster Energy team.”


What is one part of the racetrack or your driving style that you’ve had to work on at Kansas over the years?


“It always seems like turn four is the toughest part about Kansas, whether it’s the wind angle or the sharper corner exit with the SAFER Barrier jumping out at the cars. You either lose a lot of time or gain a lot of time in turn four at Kansas.”

Haas Automation/Monster Energy Racing Team Report
Round 32 of 36 –  Hollywood Casino 400 – Kansas


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


PR Contact: Joe Crowley, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388, ext. 808, 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. 003:
Chassis No. 003 is only the third chassis Stewart-Haas Racing has built completely in-house and the first in-house chassis used by the No. 41 team. It was built at the beginning of 2017 and turned its first laps during a Goodyear tire test May 9 and 10 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Chassis No. 003’s first race came later that month in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, where it qualified 12th and ran inside the top-10 all night before finishing sixth. Chassis No. 003 returned to Kentucky for the July race, where Busch started 15th but finished 30th after experiencing engine trouble. This chassis was last used in September at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, where Busch started seventh and finished third.
Kansas Notes of Interest:
·   The Hollywood Casino 400 will mark Busch’s 608th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 24th at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Busch has two top-five finishes and seven top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 263 laps, has an average starting position of 16.0, an average finish of 17.0 and has completed 94.3 percent (5,741 of 6,091) of the laps he’s contested there.


·   Busch has career total totals of 29 wins, 21 poles, 130 top-fives, 256 top-10s and 8,877 laps led in 607 starts.


·   His most recent Cup Series win came 31 races ago in the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (Feb. 26).


·   His last Cup Series pole came 63 races ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway(March 4, 2016).


·   Busch’s best finish at Kansas is second in October 2013 after he started in the rear of the field in a back-up car. 


·   The Las Vegas native has one pole to his credit (June 2011) at Kansas. Busch has 21 career NASCAR Cup Series poles.


·   Thus Far in 2017 – Busch has accumulated one win, five top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 31 starts.


·   Get to the Points – With his 25th-place finish last Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Busch is 16th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 2,089 points.



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


Creative Blow Mold Tooling – 2350 N.E. Independence Ave., in Lees Summit, Missouri 64064 –www.creativeblowmold.com


Creative Blow Mold Tooling was founded in 1984. Creative began with a focus on the design, manufacture, and repair of tooling for the blow mold industry. From concept to finished product, Creative delivers with innovation and quality. Plastic blow molds and plastic bottle mold tooling are its specialties. Creative works closely with its customers from initial concept and product design through the creation of high-quality blow-molded parts in the customer’s plant. Throughout its manufacturing process, Creative maintains an unwavering commitment to quality, on-time delivery, and customer service.


Haas Factory Outlet Kansas City – 15661 South Mahaffie in Olathe, Kansas 66062 –www.haascncoutlet.com/contact.cfm


Haas Factory Outlet, Kansas City, a division of NYMAT Machine Tool Corporation, serves all of Kansas and Western Missouri. It is dedicated to providing the best service possible to ensure the Haas machines it sells provide the best overall value of any machine tool brand.

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