Kurt Busch excited by progress of Fords at Stewart-Haas


LONG POND, PA - JUNE 09: Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Axalta presents the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on June 9, 2017 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

LONG POND, Pa. –  Kurt Busch was trying to take the next step last Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

Unfortunately, it was his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Ford that decided to step out before Busch could make a move.

“We’ve been cranking out top 10s, but we haven’t been cranking out top fives, so I was pushing really hard last week and the car stepped out,” said Busch, who collected fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski in an early wreck at the Monster Mile.

“I took it beyond its limits, and it’s because we’re right there. We’re solid top-10 when things go our way, but we’re not top-five, and that’s what I’m pushing for.”

The wreck at Dover, however, doesn’t overshadow the progress Stewart-Haas has made as the organization goes through growing pains after this season’s transition from Chevrolet to Ford. As the defending champion of Sunday’s Pocono 400, Busch is excited to return to the triangular 2.5-mile track.

“Our expectations are high, but we have to keep them in perspective,” Busch said. “Yes, we have run well the last few weeks, and it’s been a matter of changing the car’s dynamic balance as far as our setup to match the aero changes.

“We’ve found some things in the wind tunnel that have helped us understand the difference with our Ford versus where we were at this time last year with the GM car, and so balancing those things has helped us, and I think we turned a good corner at Texas (where Busch started a run of four top 10s in six races).

“This is a great track for us to come back to because we won here last time, and it’s one of my favorites. So balancing out where we are with the team, the setups and if we can get a top-5 this week, that would be great. But, of course, we’re going for the win.”

Friday afternoon, Busch put down his best qualifying effort of the season. He will start fifth at Pocono Sunday.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.