Kurt Busch Hopes To Find Rhythm And Momentum In Goodyear 400 At Darlington

Kurt Busch Hopes To Find Rhythm And Momentum In Goodyear 400 At Darlington

by May 7, 2022 0 comments

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Kurt Busch has had quiet the amount of success at Darlington Raceway throughout his career, and now he enters the Goodyear 400 hoping that his 23XI Racing team can get back into Playoff contention.

When you think of active drivers who perform well at Darlington, Busch has got to be towards the top of the list. Over the last 21 years, a win at Darlington has certainly eluded him, but he has finished inside of the top-10 in more than 42% of the races that he has competed in at the track. Now, he enters Darlington needing points, and if the egg-shaped track wasn’t challenging enough, teams will be dancing with the Lady in Black for first time in the Next Gen car.

“Just the challenge of Darlington is one you’re ready for, you’re up for,” Busch said. “It’s so unique and fun here, and blending in the Next Gen car, hopefully old trends will come into play. The way that the shade comes into Turns 3 and 4, and then we’ll pick up a lot of speed and then just the pace in (Turn) 1 and 2, how’s the car going to handle on fresh tires versus old tires.

“This car will have the grip early, and then it just seems to wear the tires out more so. It goes through a bigger change throughout a run.”

Busch has now moved from Chip Ganassi Racing that shutdown, to driving a Toyota at 23XI Racing. So far this season, Busch has been pleased with the team’s chemistry, but now it’s time for the organization to step up its performance.

“Everything has been great,” Busch said. “Billy Scott (crew chief) and everybody with Toyota, and there’s some things that we’ve done together to build it up. This is that point though to where we’ve got to grab a gear and know that we’ve got to get back up towards Playoff contention.”

Now, 11 races into the season, Busch and his No. 45 team are looking for a strong run at Darlington to stay in-touch with the opportunity to make the Playoffs. Busch was as high as fifth in the standings, but lately, the team has fallen due to three finishes outside of the top-30. Busch now sits 20th in the standings, just 25 points out of the 16th and final Playoff transfer position.

“I feel like we started off strong,” Busch said. “There were top-fives, top-tens. We got up as high as fifth in points, and then just as of late, we’ve been in a funk with a wreck at Bristol, a wreck going for the win at Talladega, and so we’ve just got to get things back on track to find that smooth rhythm, and now we’re going to some of these tracks for a second time and also sister tracks are coming up to where the setups and things are starting to get more scienced out.”

On Sunday, Busch will start sixth in the Bill Elliott throwback McDonald’s scheme after a strong qualifying effort. Look for Busch to be a contender when the green flag drops at Darlington.

The Goodyear 400 will broadcast live on FS1 and MRN at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com

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