SPARTA, Ky. –After team owner and younger brother Kyle replaced him at Chicago, Kurt Busch returns behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota for only the fourth time in the last 10 races.
The elder Busch brother is hoping for similar good fortune that he had in the late June Nationwide race at Kentucky Speedway, where he finished runner-up to winner Austin Dillon.
Matt Crafton practiced the car for Busch on Friday (Busch was in Loudon, N.H., practicing for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race), and will also qualify the car Saturday, but Kurt Busch will drive the car in the race (because Crafton is qualifying the car, Busch will have to start from the back of the field).
“It will be a little difficult driving from the back,” Busch conceded. “But as we saw last week when Kyle finished second in his Chicago return, it works to take the notes from the first run earlier in the year, improve on that, and get the better result you are looking for. That is what we’re hoping for.
“Mike (crew chief Mike Beam) and the team have a lot of confidence right now and it shows the level of improvement. I can’t wait to jump back into the No. 54 car and see if we can do one better this time around.”