NASCAR Darlington Notebook: Kurt Busch Appreciates Fun And Serious At Darlington

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Kurt Busch (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kurt Busch (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images for NASCAR)

DARLINGTON, S.C. – After qualifying on the outside of the front row for Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (7 p.m. ET on NBC), Kurt Busch offered a balanced perspective on prospects for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition package.

The second of two races using a low-downforce configuration with a smaller spoiler, Darlington is part of NASCAR’s evaluation process in formalizing the rule book for next year’s cars.

“I believe it’s up to (NASCAR) to decide,” Busch said, when asked about his preference for the 2016 package. “Collectively, as a group, we need to do the best job to understand what each race track wants and what won’t be too costly for the teams.

“But putting on a good show is not necessarily looking at a survey for green-flag passes or lead changes. Looking at statistics, that’s one thing. But looking at a show and having a ticket in your hand that says the ‘Southern 500 Retro Weekend,’ this is a value to me.”

Clearly, Busch was also enjoying the throwback aspect of Darlington weekend, sporting a tribute paint scheme to Haas CNC founder and current Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas on his No. 41 Chevrolet.

“This is fun this weekend,” Busch said. “It’s a full 500 miles. You know you have to race the race track here. But all the other race tracks have their own unique characteristics, and they might need their own balance, but we also have to keep the costs under control and not be switching it back and forth too randomly.

“As a group, I think we can come up with a collective solution. And I do see this package, this weekend, coming into play next year.”


With the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup a mere two weeks away, Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t find the impetus he was looking for during qualifying for Sunday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 (7 p.m. ET on NBC).

Earnhardt failed to advance past the first round of knockout time trials on Saturday and earned the 26th starting position for the prestigious Labor Day weekend race. Even that result showed better speed than the No. 88 car had when it rolled out of the hauler.

“Yeah, we were awful when we showed up,” Earnhardt acknowledged. “We didn’t really get the car reasonable until the end of practice (on Friday). We were just way off. The car was plowing. I don’t think anybody liked the way their cars drove, but we were just slow—no speed.

“The car was way too tight. We never really got it figured out. We got a little bit of a direction at the end of practice and started to run some decent laps. We just need another two-hour practice.”

That, of course, was wishful thinking. There is no Sprint Cup practice scheduled between the end of qualifying and the start of the race.


The highlight of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Breakfast on Sunday morning was the unveiling of a vintage replica of Howard Hurd’s mobile tool van, symbolic of Ingersoll Rand’s long-standing presence in NASCAR racing.

Developed and built by Gas Monkey Garage, the VW Microbus recalled the tool van Hurd, an Ingersoll Rand distributor, used to dispense tools at the 1957 race at the Daytona Beach & Road Course. Two years later, NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. asked Hurd to serve as official tool distributor for all NASCAR teams at the opening of Daytona International Speedway.

In January of this year, the heritage of Ingersoll Rand in NASCAR racing came full circle with the expansion of the company’s role to become the “Official Power Tools of NASCAR.”

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing