LONG POND, Pa. (June 5, 2013) – Another track configuration and another opportunity for Kurt Busch’s Furniture Row Chevrolet SS to show its muscle.
Busch, who joined Furniture Row Racing near the end of the 2012 season, has helped lift the Denver-based single car team to a new level in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. His driver rating at recent races is not only one of the best, but more importantly the former NASCAR champion has put himself in contention for a victory multiple times, including the past two Cup races in Charlotte, N.C. and Dover, Del.
“I keep saying each week, we’re running strong but not taking advantage of the opportunities,” said Busch. “We’ve been fast at recent races with our Furniture Row Chevrolet but haven’t maximized our performance level with better finishes. Hopefully this will be the weekend that it all changes to our favor.”
Busch will be looking for continued success at Pocono Raceway, site of Sunday’s Party in the Poconos 400, the 14th of the 36-race schedule. He is a two-time winner at Pocono’s 2.5-mile triangular track.
“Pocono is still all about the tunnel turn, carrying speed through that corner,” explained Busch. “But the track has changed with the level of grip in the asphalt. With the new pavement the track is a lot faster in all three corners. You definitely now focus more on the aero side of things than on the handling side. I feel we can continue our strong performance this weekend at Pocono, it’s a track that I enjoy, and a track that I’ve had success on.”
Busch’s two wins at Pocono came in the August races in 2005 and 2007. His overall Pocono record includes: 23 starts, two wins, nine top-fives, 12 top-10s, one pole and 449 laps led. His average start is 11.3 and average finish 16.1.
“Pocono has been great to me over the years – a couple of wins and a pole,” noted the 34-year-old Busch. “The way you generate speed there is to tie turns one and three together with the most speed so that means you have to get through that tunnel turn.”
Busch, who has led laps in the past five races for a total of 123, is still in chase contention whether it’s reaching the top-10 in points or as a wild card participant.
“Right now with 13 pre-Chase races remaining, we’re 34 points out of tenth,” explained Busch, who is currently ranks 17th in the driver standings. “If we can be consistent from here on in that’s a doable number to make up. Then there’s also a chance of a wild card berth. But we need to get a victory or two, a lot easier said than done. It’s possible, but we have to be perfect. We had chances the past two races to take home a win, but we weren’t perfect and didn’t close the deal.”
Furniture Row Racing Road Crew, 2013
No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew
Anthony O’Brien, Cambridge, Minn.
Mike Houston, Concord, N.C.
Kenyatta Houston, Bronx, N.Y.
Arthur Simmons, Newark, Mo.
Andrew Turner, Coloma, Mich.
Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn.
No. 78 Road Crew
Joe Garone, Denver, Colo.
Todd Berrier, Kernersville, N.C.
Executive Competition Director
Mark McArdle, La Crosse, Wis.
Pete Rondeau, Saco, Maine
Robert Huffman, Hickory, N.C.
Cole Pearn, London, Ontario
Matt Faulkner, Memphis, Tenn.
Rick Carelli, Arvada, Colo.
Clayton Hughes, Thomasville, N.C.
Scott Meesters, Hanford, Calif.
Nick Kerlin, Old Fort, Ohio
Chad Krauch, Loveland, Colo.
Michael McCullough, Imperial, Calif.
Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn.
Gary Frost, Romeo, Mich.
Henry Benfield (also gas runner) Statesville, N.C.
Jason Churgin, San Fernando Valley, Calif.
Jim Gilbert, Belleville, IL.
Dave Hicks, Montcalm, WVa.
Chuck Lemay, DeKalb, IL