Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Kurt Busch using 2016 winning Pocono chassis this week

Kurt Busch is 40/1 this week at Pocono.
Stewart Haas Racing's most-recent win at Pocono came in this race last year, when Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion, was able to overcome team and fuel challenges to win the rain-delayed Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400. The win was Busch’s 28th career Cup Series victory, his third at Pocono and his lone triumph of the 2016 season. 

In addition to Busch’s three Pocono triumphs, he also has 13 top-five finishes and 18 top-10s in 31 starts there, which equal his career high top-fives at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, and career-high top-10s at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. 

Additionally, Busch’s solid performance statistics extend beyond tradition and into some pretty stout loop data numbers as he ranks in the top-five in a several categories, including average running position, average speed early in a run, average speed late in a run, fastest laps run, fastest laps on a restart, green-flag speed, laps in the top-15, laps led and more. Add it all up and it equates to the top driver rating at the “Tricky Triangle.” 

A return to Pocono couldn’t come at a better time for Busch. Since scoring the win in the season-opening Daytona 500, Busch has struggled to find the consistency he’s become so accustomed to. A glance at the upcoming schedule gives him the optimism he’ll soon find a way to end his search. And it all starts this weekend at Pocono, where he’ll look to score his fourth victory at one of the most unique racetracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit and his second of the 2017 season.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

What makes Pocono so unique? 
“Just the fact that it’s different in the way that each of the straightaways has its different length, the corners have their banking. It’s not a typical oval in that you get to shift at an oval track. It blends a lot of road-racing techniques into an oval technique.” 

What is the one thing you know you are going to have to work on when you return to Pocono? 
“The one thing you know is shifting. You have to work on that. But, each time we go back, the setups change so rapidly that you have to find the right setup to gain the speed, whether it’s turn one, turn two or turn three. Each time there, you have to challenge the track and the car’s technology.”

Chassis No. 977: 
Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 977 in Sunday’s Axalta presents the Pocono 400 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Built new for 2016, Chassis No. 977 saw its first laps of competition in March at Phoenix, where Busch finished sixth. Chassis No. 977 was then raced at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in April, when Busch contended for the win but finished 10th after a lengthy, late-race pit stop. Chassis No. 977 next raced at Pocono in June, when Busch overcame team and fuel challenges to earn his 28th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. Chassis No. 977 raced again at Pocono in August, when Busch finished 10th in the rain-delayed, rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400. Chassis No. 977 was then utilized at Richmond in September, when Busch finished eighth in the final event of the 2016 regular season. Chassis No. 977 next saw action at Phoenix International Raceway in November, when the hard work of the driver and team saw them rewarded with a fifth-place finish. Since then, Chassis No. 977 was outfitted with a new front clip and body in preparation for 2017 and its debut at Phoenix in March, when Busch was plagued with electrical issues and finished 25th.

No comments: