Friday, Dec 03

Kurt Busch One Trophy Missing from the Shelf

Kurt Busch’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories have come at an array of venues across the circuit. From its shortest racetrack – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway – to a road-course victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, it seems Busch has won at every type of track.

 

The driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has won on racetracks ranging in length from .526 of a mile, .533 of a mile, .75 of a mile, 1 mile, 1.5 miles, 1.99 miles and 2 miles. He’s celebrated in victory lane at the high-banked ovals and flat tracks. He’s even has had a seat at the head table at the year-end banquet.

 

But, there’s one trophy missing from Busch’s shelf. With 27 Sprint Cup wins and the 2004 championship on his list of credits, a points-paying win at either of the two restrictor-plate tracks – Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway – is the one thing that has eluded Busch in his 17-year Sprint Cup career.

 

While the Las Vegas native hasn’t won a Sprint Cup points-paying race at either restrictor-plate track, he has come painfully close many times. He has four top-three finishes at Talladega and six top-threes at Daytona, including runner-up results in the Daytona 500 in 2003, 2005 and 2008.

 

Busch has won in both the Sprint Unlimited and Budweiser Duel non-points races at Daytona – both in 2011. He also has a 2012 NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Daytona and a 2003 IROC victory at Talladega, the site of Sunday’s GEICO 500. Still, he has fallen short of grabbing the checkered flag in a points-paying Sprint Cup race at either track.

 

With a victory at Talladega this weekend, Busch would join an elite list of drivers who have won at every type of track on the Sprint Cup circuit: superspeedway, speedway, intermediate, short track and road course.

 

This weekend, Busch would like nothing more than to add another win to his already impressive resume. Not only would a victory finally give him that restrictor-plate win he so desperately desires, it would also virtually lock Busch and his No. 41 team into the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. With the 16-driver Sprint Cup championship format, scoring a win most certainly guarantees a driver and his team a berth in the Chase, provided he is among the top-30 in driver points.

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