Kurt Busch has shattered many Furniture Row Racing season team records, including top fives (10), top-10s (15), consecutive top-fives (3) and front-row starts (8).
No doubt an incredible season for one of the most gifted drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series whose biggest accomplishment in 2013, without any debate, was becoming the first driver from a single-car team to qualify for NASCAR’s post-season Chase playoffs. He was also the first driver to earn a Chase berth with a team based outside of the Carolinas.
But before Busch heads to a different team in 2014, there’s a void he desperately wants to fill as the driver of the Denver-based No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet SS.
“We want a win and we want it badly,” said Busch, who ranks 10th in driver points with two races remaining. “We’ve accomplished so much in a short period of time, but that elusive win is hanging over us. Barney Visser (team owner) has put his heart and soul into this team and he deserves a win as does everyone else associated with the talented Furniture Row Racing organization.”
Busch, who has two runner-up finishes this season, will be seeking his first win of the year and 25th of his career in Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
And when it comes to Phoenix International Raceway, Busch has plenty of reasons to feel optimistic. He has won at the 1-mile oval (April, 2005) and has led a total of 750 laps. The only track where he has led more laps (895) is at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
“Phoenix, I love the place, led a lot of laps there,” noted Busch. “But that was on the old configuration. The new configuration is a little bit slicker and if you hit it exactly right you can be quick there. But if you’re off it makes it treacherous and tough to pass on when the track heats up.
“We’ll see what the track conditions are like when we’re there and make the necessary adjustments. The Richmond track has some similarities to Phoenix and that’s good news for our Furniture Row Chevrolet. We finished ninth at Richmond in the spring race and posted a runner-up finish there in the fall race.”
In 21 starts at Phoenix, Busch has garnered one win, four top-fives and 11 top-10s. Along with leading 750 laps at Phoenix, he has an impressive 99.7 percent lap completion record — 6614 out of 6633.
“After the last four Chase races, we’re overdue for a strong finish,” said Busch.
Speaking of the last four races, Busch has not had solid results, finishing 14th in Charlotte, 18th at both Talladega and Martinsville and 17th at Texas.