Kurt Busch Seeks Fourth Pocono Win

Busch has plenty of reasons to be smiling bout Pocono. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson)

Busch has plenty of reasons to be smiling bout Pocono. (Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson)

While the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway is called “The Tricky Triangle,” Kurt Busch has shown a liking to the Long Pond, PA venue.  The 38-year-old NASCAR veteran has three wins, 13 top-fives, and 18 top-10 finishes in his 31 starts at this track.

Although Busch heads into Pocono ranked 16th in the points race, he has a playoff spot clinched from his Daytona 500.

Furthermore, the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy team have been fast off the truck each race weekend despite the much publicized transition from Chevrolet to Ford.

With the transition to the Blue Ovals truly set and complete, Busch and crew chief Tony Gibson seek consistency during the second half of the regular season.

Following a difficult four race stretch from Las Vegas to Martinsville, the No. 41 team has reeled off four top-10 finishes in the past five races.

To say the least, Pocono will be a nice change of scenery for Busch and his competitors.  For starters, it’s a speedway that involves a unique aspect that’s prevalent at road courses.

“Pocono’s a cool track,” Busch said during a segment on Mobil 1 The Grid.  “You actually shift on an oval track which is rare for us on the NASCAR circuit so the engines really go through a tough RPM range.  It’s fast.  The pace going into turn one is 215 miles per hour (mph) so I love that speed part of it.”

Since 2014, the Las Vegas, NV native has finished inside the top-five in three of the past six Pocono races.

Additionally, the 2004 Cup champion has the fourth best average finish (11.5) for drivers who’ve started each of the past six races.

Busch looks to drive his No. 41 Ford to his fourth Pocono win.

Busch looks to drive his No. 41 Ford to his fourth Pocono win.

Most importantly, Busch is the defending race winner for this Sunday’s Pocono 400.  Despite starting ninth in the rain delayed race last June, the cagey veteran worked his way to the front.

Busch passed leader Dale Earnhardt Jr going into the infamous first corner with 32 laps remaining.  Pocono was the highlight of a solid 2016 campaign  for Busch, who placed seventh in the points rundown.

Drivers and teams can look forward to pleasant weather at Pocono, a site not prevalent in both races last year.  With that in mind, Busch looks to put on a good show for the fans this weekend.

Busch looks forward to the fast speed and enthusiastic fans from the major Northeast cities coming to Pocono.

Busch looks forward to putting on a good show for the fans coming to Pocono.

“Everything’s pretty calm on Friday and Saturday,” he observed.  “On Sunday, you get the big crowd because everyone drives in from the New York City area and all of those metropolitan areas.  You really only see the crowd on Sunday and they’re pumped up and ready to go.”

Ultimately, the No. 41 team are ready to go for it at Pocono.  It all starts with practice and qualifying this Friday, a final practice session on Saturday, and the duel on Sunday.

Rob Tiongson

30-something motorsports journalist who enjoys sports like baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field, and hockey. Born and raised in the Boston, MA area, racing was the first sport that caught my eye. From interviews to retrospective articles, if it's about anything with an engine and four wheels, you'll likely see an article on The Podium Finish by either myself or one of my talented columnists who absolutely have the motorsports passion.

Currently seeking a sports writing, public relations, or sports marketing career, particularly in motorsports. I enjoy editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography.

Graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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