Kurt Looking To Heat Up Richmond

Kurt Busch

It seemed a little warm during last week’s race at Las Vegas. But to Kurt Busch, a native of Las Vegas, it was not hot enough.

Perhaps that’s why his No. 41 Ford for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway is sponsored by State Water Heaters and Haas Automation.

In 1946, State Water Heaters was founded by Herbert Lindahl as a small entrepreneurial company producing coal- and wood-burning stoves in a garage in Nashville, Tennessee. In the years that followed, State expanded and became a leader in the water-heating industry through steadfast commitments to seeking new materials, new technology and innovative engineering techniques.

Busch is hoping that State Water Heaters can bring him more heat – and some luck – as week two of the 10-week NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are taking place. The No. 41 team is in sixth place, 24 points to the good with two races to go before the 16-driver playoff field gets cut to 12.

Busch was running in the top-five for much of Sunday’s Las Vegas race, but a late accident not of his making placed him in 21st. He would very much like to pad his lead over 13th place before next week’s Round of 16 finale on the new “roval” at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

In 35 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond, Busch owns a pair of victories, the in September 2005, when he started fifth and led 185 laps en route to the win, and the second in April 2015 driving a Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR)-prepared racecar. He dominated the latter event, leading six times for a race-high 291 laps and holding off teammate Kevin Harvick to score his first win 2015.

In addition to his success in NASCAR’s top series, Busch also won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Richmond in April 2012.

Busch is hoping to take the No. 41 State Water Heaters/Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for SHR to victory lane for a third time at Richmond in the Cup Series.

And he would be “warmly” greeted in victory lane.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 State Water Heaters/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
How important is Richmond with the uncertainty of the new “roval” next week at Charlotte? 

“There will be a lot of anxiety, a lot of unknowns and a lot of interesting, unique things that are going to come out of the road race with it being a cutoff race. It’s a very important race to have a smooth day. And, based on testing, nobody’s had a smooth day getting around that track. So it puts emphasis on Richmond and, right now, I think everybody’s looking at Richmond like, ‘Man I want to win that one, that way I don’t have the stress of the roval.’ Plus, it’s great that we have State Water Heaters on our car for Richmond along with Haas Automation, Monster Energy and Ford. State Water Heaters will be with us at Texas, as well. They are a great partner.”

Talk about the upgrades to Richmond Raceway.

“It’ll be great. Every track that redoes the garage area – places like Daytona and Vegas – they seem to make it very fan friendly. The way our atmosphere around our races has changed, everyone wants to be in the pits and, yet, you don’t want too congested of a workspace and so, to create the viewing areas and the different platforms and different places to get food and drink, it’s great for our fans to be near our workspace.”

Your thoughts about the track since you starting running there in 2002? 

“It’s a cool short track. It really challenges you to make sure you have the drive off as far as the forward bite off corner exit. But, there are a lot of restarts where you just have to haul the mail and cut through the center of the corner hard and lay down the hard lap times, those fast lap times. It’s a fun, challenging track. You have to be ready for a lot of things at Richmond.”

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.”

State Water Heaters/Haas Automation Racing Team Report
Round 28 of 36 – Federated Auto Parts 400 – Richmond


Car No.: 41 – State Water Heaters/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: Billy Scott
Hometown: Land O’ Lakes, Florida
Car Chief: Tony Cardamore
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: Ryan Mulder
Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa
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: Tim Hussey and Larry Lush
Hometowns: Asheboro, North Carolina, and Waynesville, North Carolina
Tire Specialist: Tom Gagliano
Hometown: East Hampton, Connecticut
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
Richmond Notes of Interest:
· The South Point 400 will mark Kurt Busch’s 640th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 36th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. Busch has two wins, seven top-five finishes and 15 top-10s at the .75-mile oval. Additionally, the 40-year-old driver has led 904 laps, has an average starting position of 16.4, an average finish of 15.3, and has completed 98.4 percent (13,798 of 14,022) of the laps he’s contested there.


· Busch has career totals of 30 wins, 25 poles, 135 top-fives, 275 top-10s and 9,354 laps led in 639 career starts.


· His most recent Cup Series win came four races ago in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (Aug. 18, 2018).


· His last Cup Series pole came eight races ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (July 20, 2018).


· 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 and the second in September 2013.


· Busch has never won a pole at Richmond. His best start there is second in September 2013.


· 9,000 and counting – By leading 98 laps in the April race at Richmond, Busch became just the 21st driver to lead 9,000 laps in his NASCAR career. He is now 20th in the laps-led standings, having led 9,354 laps. He’s 390 laps behind Buddy Baker and 203 laps ahead of 21st-place Denny Hamlin. Busch is fifth among active drivers in laps led.


· In two starts in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition at Richmond, Busch has one win (April 2012) and two top-five finishes.


· Get to the Points – Following his 21st-place finish at Las Vegas, Busch is sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 2,046 points. He has one win, four top-five finishes and 17 top-10s in 27 races.


· Busch has been in the top-10 in points for 22 consecutive weeks. The last time he was in the top-10 for 22 consecutive weeks was when he was in the top-10 for the first 27 races of the 2016 season.


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