Kurt Busch, driving for the single car NASCAR team of Furniture Row Racing out of Denver Colorado, started on the outside pole at Michigan International Speedway. He was able to get the lead from Joey Logano, the pole sitter on the first lap, only to swap it back to Joey five laps later. Kurt was able to get the lead back on lap 33, putting him in position to be in the hunt for the win all day.
Week in and week out Kurt Busch and the #78 Furniture Row team are the topic of discussion on how they do so much with so little. The Sprint Cup Series is dominated by big multi car teams. Furniture Row associated with Richard Childress Racing at the end of last season. This has proven to be one of the keys to their success. Their relationship is like a satellite team to RCR much like Stewart Haas Racing is to Hendrick Motorsports, except since they are located in Denver collaboration is by satellite.
What can be said about Kurt Busch? He, like many drivers, was found deep in the field due to varying pit strategies. He could have given up, thinking pit strategy killed him, but instead he took a break offered him on a restart, passing many cars and putting him back in the hunt for the win. He ended up finishing the race third but that one pass may have just put him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Busch said, “But lo and behold, got fired up, sometimes I get lucky, an opening opened up on the outside. I think I came on that restart from 14th to sixth. It was a game‑changer. That one moment was our race.”
The No. 78 Furniture Row team is now in ninth place in the standings and currently has a space in the Chase. They are only six points in without a win, but if Busch can keep racing like this in the next three races it will not be a problem. Sure if catastrophe should happen he would be in trouble but with only 2 points from eighth, the same could happen to Brad Keselowski.
“Now I’m just in that Chase mode where we have to get in.” Busch added, “You can’t celebrate with a third‑place finish. You just have to feel confident and to know that you can go back next week and do it again. The biggest thing is just staying out of trouble. Bristol, trouble can happen at any corner. There’s going to be 500 laps that we have to perform there next week where we have to protect our car and still finish well.”
The next three weeks will be interesting to watch. Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and even Dale Earnhardt Jr. need to keep it up or they will miss the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Busch said, “Now here we are. We’re 23 races in, got three to go to get in the Chase. It’s an amazing feeling to be in position right now, have a group of guys from Denver, Colorado, in the Chase right now. That’s what we have to do, make sure when the door closes, the music stops, that we got a place.”