Kurt Busch: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Bristol Preview
When it comes to a confidence and fondness level for a racetrack, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is at the top of the list for Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch.
The all-concrete bullring, known as the world’s fastest half-mile, has been the site of five Sprint Cup victories for the 34-year-old Busch, including his first career win on March 24, 2002.
He went on to sweep both Bristol races in 2003 and took home the winning hardware in the 2004 and 2006 spring races.
The five wins at Bristol is not only the most at a racetrack for Busch, but also puts him in a three-way tie with his brother Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon for most victories among active drivers at the .533-mile oval.
Along with the five victories, Busch’s career totals at Bristol include: six top-fives, 13 top-10s, one pole, 840 laps led and an average finish of 13.8 in 24 starts.
Busch, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS, will be looking for more success at Bristol in Sunday’s Food City 500, the first short track race of the season.
The event will also be the second of seven associate race sponsorships on the Furniture Row Chevy for Beautyrest mattresses, which are sold at Denver Mattress locations nationwide.
“Bristol has really changed over the years,” stated Busch. “I loved the old Bristol, but this is the new Bristol. You have to adapt to whatever the track is asking for.
“Another thing about Bristol is you have to protect your car and wait for the right opportunity to pass. You learn over the years when to make passes and when you can’t. A misstep at Bristol could have a costly outcome. We’ve seen it many times.”
While patience is one of the keys at Bristol, Busch says there’s a time when you have to start making a move during the 500-lap race.
“To contend for the win you want to be in position by Lap 350,” explained Busch. “That is definitely the ‘Go Time’ at Bristol. It will be our goal to be in that position with our Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet SS.”
Busch and the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team will be aiming for that breakthrough race of 2013.
“The first three races haven’t gone the way we had anticipated,” noted Busch. “We had strong cars in the first two races, but not good finishes (28th & 27th). Last week in Las Vegas, we were off from the get go and managed to salvage a top-20.”