Kurt Busch made Sprint Cup history on Saturday night under the lights at Richmond International Raceway. He has driven his #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet into the first chase berth for a single car race team since it was introduced. Starting on the outside pole in the Federated Parts 400, he was able to bring it home in second place behind race winner Carl Edwards, which was good for a top ten position in the Chase when they go to Chicagoland next week.
Busch wasn’t able to catch a checkered flag all season, so his only option was to either win the race, or accumulate enough points where he could stay out of the melee that was the Wild Card. He will start the chase in a tie for eighth position Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Kasey Kahne, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. They will have 2000 points as the chase starts, and only be 15 points behind new points leader Matt Kenseth.
The 2004 Nextel Cup Champion proved this season that a single car team can compete at this level providing they have a good driver. Although he wasn’t in victory lane all year, he did amass a whopping eight top five finishes to go with 13 top tens. He picked up one pole in 2013, that coming back in May at the Bojangles Southern 500.
After trailing pole sitter, Jeff Gordon for almost 50 laps, Busch looked aggravated when his pit crew lost him six places while on pit road. You could hear from radio transcripts that he wasn’t happy about the screw-up, but went back out on the track and got it back the hard way. There were days in the past that he would have been a raving maniac over such a mistake.
I have said for years, if Kurt Busch ever got hold of a Chevrolet, he would be tough. Well here he is. I don’t thinks he has the supporting cast that can help him win another Cup title this year, but look out for 2014. Hendricks powered Chevrolets with a top tiered team could spell trouble for the rest of the competitors next year. Add Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick to the mix, and you have a team that will be tough to beat next year. Yeah…I know Danica Patrick is there too, but…….????
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