Photo: Stewart-Haas Racing
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (October 3, 2017) – Kurt Busch is a fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball club and the Chicago Bears football team.
The Cubs play 81 games on the road and 81 games at home in Wrigley Field. The Bears play eight games on the road and eight games at home at Soldier Field.
For Busch and the rest of the drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, they’re schedule is a little less balanced as they have 34 “road games” and only two at the home track of most every team – Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
But this Sunday, Busch and the rest of the series are “home” for the Bank of America 500. From 2003 to 2016, the fall event at Charlotte took place Saturday of race weekend but, for 2017, officials decided to move it to Sunday afternoon.
Busch, driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), has had some success at Charlotte as he started second and led 252 of 400 laps there en route to his 222nd NASCAR Cup Series victory on May 30, 2010.
He held off a hard-charging Jamie McMurray to score his only points-paying victory at the 1.5-mile oval. He won the NASCAR All-Star Race the week before, becoming just the seventh driver to win both races in the same year.
Along with the victory, Busch has seven top-five finishes and 12 top-10s at Charlotte.
Busch enjoys racing, and he especially enjoys a home race when they are scheduled. And he would like nothing more than to score his second victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Sunday.
KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What would it mean to win this weekend at Charlotte?
“Charlotte is always a marquee event, I believe, no matter if it’s the spring or the fall. A lot of bragging rights are on the line because all the race shops are here in Charlotte. It’s just one of those special tracks that is also one of the toughest ones to win on, and we race there so often. There’s the All-Star Race and, for guys who aren’t in the All-Star Race, there’s the Showdown, and we have the 600-miler, the 500-miler, a lot of laps at Charlotte. It kind of makes you feel like the old-school days, that this is your home track and you want to defend it.”
What’s the toughest part about Charlotte?
“The toughest part is always that turn three. If you can get your car to cut properly into turn three, it seems like the racetrack just gives you extra speed. If you struggle in turn three, then that makes for a longer day.”
Talk about the 2010 Coca-Cola 600, when you had such a dominant car.
“Well, to start, we just missed out on the pole. That’s one thing that sticks in my mind. You know how racers are – we want to win them all. That race, we were so good in the daytime that I was afraid of what was going to happen when the sun went down and the track started to change and how the race would play out. I mean, you never really have a good car at the beginning and have it stay underneath you for the nighttime. It’s just the way you’ve always seen that race play out. But that car was that good. It was what we saw with it in the All-Star Race the week before. It was fast during both of those weekends. So it’s amazing how you can stumble across little things that make all the difference in the world. Again, I was leading the beginning of the race, just pacing myself. The car was so good in the daytime and I literally thought we would end up a lap down at night because cars never stay the same as the race goes on. But it worked out and we got the win in the 600.”