Kurt Busch Has Some Really Good Credentials At Dover

Kurt Busch

Coming out of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Kurt Busch is now a member of the Two-Five Club.

Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished second in Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega behind winner Joey Logano. That puts him fifth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series point standings. Thus – two spot in the race finish order, five spots in the standings – the entry into the Two-Five Club.

Sunday’s runner-up finish was Busch’s best since October 2017 at Kansas Speedway, and his points position is his best since March 2017, when he was second after the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Busch and crew chief Billy Scott have one top-five finish, four top-10s and seven top-15s in 10 races.

They also qualified on the pole in track-record time at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

Now they head to Dover (Del.) International Speedway, the fast, high-banked, concrete oval.

Busch has one win, seven top fives, and nine top-10s at Dover. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 426 laps, has an average starting position of 11.6, an average finish of 18.7, and has completed 92.5 percent (12,962 of 14,015) of the laps he’s contested there.

He scored a huge win in October 2011, when he started second and led 90 of 400 laps. 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.

Busch and Scott are proud members of the Two-Five Club. But they would love to advance to the One-One Club – one victory and number one in the point standings.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
Can you talk about your strategy this year with crew chief Billy Scott? You have a lot of stage points this year and last year you seem to leave a lot on the table.

“Yeah, I felt like the first stage was my weak area last year and it was how we would start the race on the scuffed tires. We have really approached it differently this year and Billy (Scott) made me aware of some cool things to do. To be able to run hard at the beginning of the race and not sacrifice anything toward that second stage. Overall this year, Billy has done a great job with the car handling at the beginning of the race. Now we need to parlay that and make good adjustments throughout the race to capitalize with a strong finish.”


SHR seems to be the flagship team for Ford this year. How has that performance helped your performance this year?

“It has been a good balance all the way through on how the cars are built with Tony Gibson now as a shop foreman to all four teams. Any time you can put a current crew chief at the race shop seven days a week, it will benefit the program. That is where we have been stronger. Also, getting our arms wrapped around the Ford balance with some of the torque levels in the engine and some of the downforce levels on the aerodynamic side. Right now, everything is clicking on all eight cylinders. It is a good feeling. Even though my little brother is the hottest guy on the circuit with his three wins, (SHR’s Kevin) Harvick also has three. We have been knocking on the door and it is just a matter of time. We just have to stay consistent and focused and I really like the chemistry I have with Billy Scott.”


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.”

Haas Automation/Monster Energy Racing Team Report
Round 11 of 36 –  AAA 400 Drive For Autism – Dover (Del.) International Speedway


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: Billy Scott
Hometown: Land O’ Lakes, Florida
Car Chief: Tony Cardamone
Hometown: Bristol, Virginia

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


Engine Specialist: Evan Cupples
Hometown: Hudson, Illinois


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
Windshield: Kyle Anderson (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Jewell, Iowa
Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Jackman: Sean Cotten
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia
Road Crew Members:
Truck Driver: Larry Lush
Hometowns: Waynesville, North Carolina
Tire Specialist: Nathan McGuire
Hometown: Palmyra, New York
Shock Specialist: Aaron Kuehn
Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut
Engineers: Scott Bingham and William Lee
Hometowns: Lawrenceville, Georgia and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina

Mechanic: Nick McIntosh
Hometown: Harve, Montana


Mechanic: Joe Zanolini
Hometown: Sybertsville, Pennsylvania
Dover Notes of Interest:
· The AAA 400 Driver for Autism will mark Kurt Busch’s 623rd career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 36th at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. 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 11.6, an average finish of 18.7, and has completed 92.5 percent (12,962 of 14,015) of the laps he’s contested there.


· Busch has career total totals of 29 wins, 23 poles, 132 top-fives, 262 top-10s and 9,094 laps led in 622 starts.


· His most recent Cup Series win came 46 races ago in the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (Feb. 26, 2017).


· His last Cup Series pole came four races ago at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth(April 6).


· 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 23 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.


· 9,000 and counting – By leading 98 laps in the April race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Busch became just the 21st driver to lead 9,000 laps in his NASCAR career. He is closing in on 9,100 as he has led 9,094 through last week’s race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.


· Get to the Points – With his second-place finish last week at Talladega, Busch is fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 320 points. He has one top-five, four top-10 and seven top-15 finishes in 10 races. This is the highest he’s been in the point standings since March 2017 after the Atlanta Motor Speedway race, when he was second in the points.


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