Under Dog Kurt Busch Still Plugging Along

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Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch and Furniture Row Racing beat all odds by qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as a single-car independent race team.

Still Busch finds himself in contention for a second Sprint Cup title.

“Well, it’s been an amazing ride, and to make the Chase with a single-car team was a nice accomplishment and something very gratifying, and now here we are one week into it and we have a nice top-five finish,” said Busch earlier this wee,. “We need nine more of those along with a win. So I’m looking forward to the challenge. What keeps me even more hungry this year is that we haven’t won yet, and I know we’re capable of doing it, and here it is. The Chase, it’s the most important time to win, so it would be great to see it all come together.”

Despite the No. 78 being a single-car entry, Busch still has “teammates” he can lean on, including his brother Kyle, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing.

“He’s definitely a genuine teammate in life in the way that we talk to each other and share information about what we see on the race track. “Yes, I can lean on him and he leans on me for that. And then there’s a small exchange with Kevin Harvick, two-fold: One is he races with RCR, and we’re a team that’s paired up through them with an engineering alliance as well as what we’re doing next year in 2014 as teammates at Stewart-Haas Racing. The two of us have definitely bonded this summer in that fashion.”

Race two of the Chase takes the series to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Busch has a strategy for the one-mile oval.

“I like to run the long runs there at New Hampshire, making your car work for 100 laps at a time I think is key with some of the strategy that’s been played there the last few years on pitting and then running long distances,” Busch explained. “With that said, you cannot sacrifice short-run speed, and that’s where I think our Furniture Row car got in trouble in the first race is that our car was a bit too vulnerable, we couldn’t be aggressive on restarts and we got spun around by Kenseth, our championship leader, earlier this year. We have to protect our car better on short-run speed and still have that long-run speed in case it comes back to play.”