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.