The fan base is growing for Furniture Row Racing as the Denver-based single-car team is in the playoff mix with three races remaining before the start of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
And one of the fans is Denver Broncos head coach John Fox, who previously coached nine seasons for the Carolina Panthers, located in NASCAR’s racing hub of Charlotte.
During a recent Furniture Row Racing team visit to the Broncos training camp, Fox spent time with driver Kurt Busch and then followed with a pep talk to members of the road crew.
“That was really neat for coach Fox to take time after the Broncos practice to address our team,” said Busch. “He’s a fan of NASCAR and he is pulling for his hometown team and we appreciate what he had to say to us. He was inspiring, stressing to keep focused on the present and to execute with perfection.
“He knows what it takes to win – those were exciting times in Charlotte when he directed the Panthers to the 2004 Super Bowl. I have a feeling the Denver football fans are going to be in for a similar treat this year.”
Staying focused on the present is what Busch has done in the past three races with results of third (Pocono), ninth (Watkins Glen) and third (Michigan) for an average finish of 5.0.
The three-race surge lifted Busch from 14th to ninth in the driver point standings. He is two points out of eight and six ahead of 11th. The top-10 drivers qualify for the Chase along with two wildcard entries.
Though the next stop for Busch is at one of his favorite tracks -- Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway – he is also well aware of the potential hazards at the high-banked, half-mile concrete oval.
“We all know that trouble can happen at any corner at Bristol,” said Busch, a five-time Bristol winner. “There are 500 laps and we have to protect our car and still finish well. We could get in a little fender-bender, some itty-bitty thing can happen that will put us on the outside. We need to stay focused and worry about what we do and not what others do."
Busch, driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet SS, said the adrenalin pumps a little faster for The Irwin Tools Saturday night race at Bristol.
“The Bristol night race is one of those top-five events of the year where you feel the excitement and the electricity,” explained Busch. “The fans are jazzed up for the race, which has a special vibe to it like the Daytona 500, Coke 600 and the All-Star event.
“It's one of those fun tracks that you anticipate going to, knowing the track and knowing the different types of setups it takes to back up the top-five finish we had there earlier this year.”
Busch’s fourth-place finish in the spring race at Bristol was his first of six top-fives this season. His overall record at Bristol is: 25 starts, five wins, seven top fives, 14 top 10s, one pole and 841 laps led. His average finish is 13.4.