After finishing 21st in his Furniture Row Racing debut a candid Kurt Busch said, “It was an uneventful race, but an eventful weekend.”
Though he was looking for a better result in Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Busch felt that he and the Denver-based team learned a lot about each other in a short period of time.
“As a competitive racer you always want to go out there and be a contender, but on the other hand when you’re starting something new you need to focus on the big picture and that big picture is to get primed and ready for the start of the 2013 season.
“Finishing 21st might not appear that we made progress, but the fact of the matter is that we did in our first three days together at the track. But we’re also realistic, knowing that there will be more kinks along the way to work out in the final five races of the season.”
Busch was encouraged about how the Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet charged to the front at the beginning of the race. After starting 21st in the 334-lap, 500-mile event, Busch quickly gained on the field, running in 11th place by Lap 23.
“It initially appeared that we had the No. 78 hooked up and all systems looked solid,” noted Busch. “But then we ran into a binding problem with the car and it started to slow down.
“We also had handling problems later in the race and never could get in the lucky dog position and back on the lead lap. We have some things to work on, and having two days of testing in Kansas next week will give us additional time to sort things out. It’s been an exciting week working with Todd (Berrier, crew chief) and all of the crew guys. I was pumped before our first practice session on Thursday and I am even more pumped as we move forward.”
And speaking of moving forward, the next race on the Sprint Cup Series tour will be Sunday (Oct. 21) at the newly-paved Kansas Speedway. Because of the new Kansas track surface, Sprint Cup teams will conduct test sessions at the 1.5-mile oval on Wednesday and Thursday. The first official practice session will be on Friday.
The Charlotte race winner was Clint Bowyer. Rounding out the top-10 in order were: Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.
The race had 20 lead changes among eight drivers and there were five cautions for 23 laps.