Many things are fine when they stand alone. But sometimes, some things are just so good they have to be experienced again. For some people, it’s the encore performance at a really great concert. For others, it may be the experience of a double date. For some, twice the fun is the baseball doubleheader. Others may find pleasure at the double-feature film event during a Sunday matinee. Then, for some, it is something as simple as seconds at the dinner table.
NASCAR is a sport in which doubles abound. A pair of races takes place on any given weekend at racetracks around the country. More often than not, two of the top three NASCAR touring series are competing in tandem on a weekly basis, whether it’s a combination of the Sprint Cup Series with the Nationwide and/or the Camping World Truck Series, or the latter two joining forces for a weekend event.
Driver Kurt Busch will double up this weekend at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, where he’s scheduled to compete in both Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Virginia 529 College Savings Plan 250 and Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series Richmond 400. It marks the third time this season Busch has doubled up by competing in the Nationwide Series in conjunction with the Sprint Cup Series events. Busch participated in Nationwide Series races during the opening weekend in February at Daytona and at Texas two weeks ago. This weekend, however, is the first of many to take place in succession. In fact, the weekends in which Busch won’t be performing double duty are now few and far between.
This season is not Busch’s first to compete in multiple series. It is the first, however, in which he’ll participate in such a rigorous schedule with plans to compete in select Nationwide Series events for both Phoenix Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports. As the schedule stands, Busch will compete in approximately 20 of the scheduled 33 Nationwide Series events in 2012. Busch’s proposed schedule includes weekends when the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series are competing in different locations. The first of these takes place next month. After participating in the Sprint All-Star Challenge at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway on May 19, Busch will hop on a plane to Newton, Iowa, where he’ll compete in the May 20 Pioneer Hi-Bred 200 at Iowa Speedway.
Friday night marks Busch’s 15th Nationwide Series appearance since he began making occasional appearances in the series in 2006. Although in his previous 14 career Nationwide Series starts, Busch has yet to compete at Richmond. That’s in direct contrast to the 22 starts Busch has made there in Sprint Cup competition. In those 22 Sprint Cup starts, Busch has made it to victory lane one time, scored four top-five finishes and seven top-10s. Busch scored his lone Richmond victory in September 2005 to catapult himself into the second annual Chase for the Championship. In keeping with his record for consistency, Busch has been running at the end of each of those 22 Sprint Cup races at Richmond aside for one, which was the result of an accident during the track’s May race in 2010.
While he has a lone Sprint Cup win at the three-quarter-mile track, Busch considers Richmond to be one of his tougher challenges. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion looks to change that this weekend, and he’s doubled his chances of doing just that.