Skip to content

Kurt Busch picks up first front-row start of season

Jun 6, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

Pocono 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

After making nine front-row starts throughout the 2013 season with Furniture Row Racing, Kurt Busch will find himself in familiar territory when it’s time to go racing Sunday at Pocono.

The Outlaw earned his first front-row start of 2014 (and his first such start with Stewart-Haas Racing) this afternoon in qualifying, narrowly missing the Pocono 400 pole by two one-thousandths of a second.

Busch said his team was focusing on getting the front end of his No. 41 SHR Chevrolet to settle into the track better, and was happy to see the new approach pay off.

“It’s great to cash in, be in position, and advance through knockout qualifying,” he said. “It’s something we’ve done this year but we haven’t positioned ourselves for a pole run in that final grouping of 12.

“[Racing] those final 12, you’ve got to be spot-on. After I made my [Round 3] lap, I felt like I left a little change on the track in Turn 1 – a little pocket change. So, to come this close to the pole, it shows our car’s got some speed in it and hopefully, that will translate to race day.”

Outside of his victory earlier this year at Martinsville, Busch has struggled mightily in 2014. Since winning on NASCAR’s oldest track, he’s had four DNFs and a top finish of 18th (Dover) in the last seven races.

But Busch is looking forward to using the multiple benefits of starting up front toward pulling him and his team out of their tailspin.

“It’s good for all day long on starting position, your race sequence, and our pit box [selection],” he said. “Daniel [Knost, crew chief] will get a nice pit box selection and that will help us with ease and congestion on pit road. And as the race progresses, we just have to make the right changes to the car.

“I’m glad we were able to apply something new to the car and see a good result right away. It’s not a big victory or a small victory. It’s just nice to confirm a change on the car and see it go in the right direction.”

Speaking further about his rookie crew chief, Busch said that it’s been great to see how Knost, a former engineer, has been able to grow into his role.

However, he hopes that he can get Knost to delegate more responsibilities to his crew mates as the summer progresses.

“Poor Daniel, he likes to do everything himself,” Busch said. “And in this game, there’s so much work that has to be done with templates, with car set-up, shocks, springs, sway bars – he has to rely on the talent of the guys around him that he’s positioned himself with that.

“That’s our next step – being able to allow the crew members to know that we’re going to grab another gear here during these summer months and advance as a team together. [We haven't had] the results that we’ve wanted so far, so we all know we can work better and harder to make this 41 car faster.”

“Kurt Busch: 36,” which chronicles Busch’s historic bid to win the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, debuts this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC. An hour-long “director’s cut” will air on NBCSN the following night at 11:30 p.m. ET.

Latest Posts
  1. Delay’s over, engines fired for Nationwide Series at Bristol (UPDATED)

    Aug 22, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    bristol rain Getty Images

    Update (8:30 p.m. ET): The engines have been fired and tonight’s Food City 300 is ready to roll.

  2. Kevin Harvick edges Jeff Gordon for Bristol Sprint Cup pole

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:54 PM EDT

    harvick bristol 2 2014 Getty Images

    Jeff Gordon looked like he had the pole for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. But Kevin Harvick had other ideas.

  3. Will A.J. Allmendinger seek payback for Brad Daugherty’s practical joke?

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT

    dinger daugherty watkins glen 2014 Getty Images

    At 7-feet tall, ESPN NASCAR analyst, team co-owner and former NBA star Brad Daugherty is a formidable presence. He’s also known to play a practical joke every now and then.

  4. NASCAR: Bristol spring weekend shifting to April

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    Food City 500 Getty Images

    Unpredictable weather conditions have impacted the Food City 500 in its March spot, which the event has had since the 2005 season.

  5. 2015 NASCAR Schedule to be Revealed Tuesday, 5 p.m. ET, on special NASCAR AMERICA

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:21 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be officially presented on Tuesday, August 26 at 5 p.m. ET on a special 60-minute edition of NASCAR AMERICA.

  6. Kyle Busch earns Nationwide pole for tonight at Bristol

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    Bristol Motor Speedway - Day 1 Getty Images

    “Rowdy” earns the pole for tonight’s Food City 300 with a lap of 125.142 miles per hour in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

  7. Longtime Busch Series owner Ed Whitaker passes away

    Aug 22, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT

    ed whitaker 2014

    Former NASCAR Nationwide Series team owner Ed Whitaker passed away Friday at his home in Bristol, Va., business associate Peter Laura told the Bristol Herald Courier.

  8. Rossi disappointed, but diplomatic, after Marussia no-go

    Aug 22, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT

    RossiBELP1 AP

    In statement, Alexander Rossi takes the high road after missing out on Grand Prix debut with Marussia in Spa.

  9. NASCAR: Stenhouse tops final Bristol Cup practice ahead of qualifying later today

    Aug 22, 2014, 2:41 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race - Practice Getty Images

    Late in the 50-minute session, the Roush Fenway Racing driver zipped around the half-mile oval at 131.048 mph in the No. 17 Ford Fusion.

  10. Belgian GP Paddock Notebook – Friday

    Aug 22, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice Getty Images

    Here’s today’s round-up from the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps.

  11. Mercedes-powered teams excel during Belgian GP practice

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Nico Hulkenberg AP

    In the year of the power unit, Spa is rewarding the Mercedes-powered teams.

  12. Russian GP3 driver survives an insane, backwards barrel roll at Spa (VIDEO)

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT

    Photo via @123pnz on Twitter Photo via @123pnz on Twitter

    Russian GP3 debutante Konstantin Tereschenko goes for a wild ride at Spa, but mercifully emerges unscathed.

  13. NASCAR: Kyle Larson fastest in 1st Sprint Cup practice at Bristol

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:16 PM EDT

    Irwin Tools Night Race - Practice Getty Images

    The Chip Ganassi Racing driver turns a lap of 131.083 mph around the high-banked half-mile to lead Friday’s first practice session.

  14. At just 16 years old, is Max Verstappen simply too young for F1?

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews Getty Images

    As good as he may be, is Max Verstappen too young to be racing up against drivers twice his age?

  15. Verstappen set for practice sessions in Austin, Brazil, Abu Dhabi

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews Getty Images

    Son of ex-racer Jos set to become the youngest ever F1 driver next season at the age of 17.

  16. Kenseth still in good Chase spot, but not out of woods yet

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

    Pure Michigan 400 - Qualifying Getty Images

    At 13th on the Chase Grid with three regular season races left, the former Sprint Cup champion isn’t feeling the need to choose between going for a win or having a good points day.

  17. Hamilton pleased with Friday running, but Rosberg remains cautious

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    Mercedes once again dominated practice, finishing first and second in both sessions on Friday at Spa.

  18. Grosjean not expecting to challenge for points at Spa

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice Getty Images

    Lotus being punished by Spa’s high-speed nature.

  19. IndyCar: An odd Friday on tap, with no practice occurring

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:22 AM EDT

    GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Day 3 Getty Images

    Without IndyCar on track on Friday, Friday will be an abnormal day on track at Sonoma Raceway.

Video from NASCAR America

Why Bristol is such a unique track
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1710)
  2. K. Harvick (1279)
  3. I. Vences (1259)
  4. B. McReynolds (1148)
  5. K. Busch (1130)