KURT BUSCH – 2018 Texas I Race Advance

April 4th, 2018

Tom Sneva was the fastest qualifier for the 1977 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

He set a one-lap record of 200.535 mph and a record four-lap average of 198.884 mph during his May 1977 run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where a qualifying run is made up of four laps.

What did he do when he came back to Indianapolis in 1978?

Set new one- and four-lap records.

In May 1978, Sneva upped his one-lap record to 203.620 mph and his record four-lap average to 202.156 mph.

Kurt Busch, who finished sixth in the 2014 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, is looking to repeat Sneva’s accomplishments this week at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

While Sneva set records in an Indy car, Busch is hoping his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion stock car fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will set another record at the 1.5-mile Texas oval.

In November 2017, Busch posted a lap of 200.915 mph, the fastest ever in a stock car on a 1.5-mile oval, to win his 22nd career pole.

Busch is hoping he can up his game in this week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas and get his 23rd career pole and his 30th career win in NASCAR’s top series.

Busch has two poles, one win, three top-five finishes and 17 top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 295 laps, has an average starting position of 14.2, an average finish of 15.1, and has completed 98.4 percent – 9,845 of 10,003 – of the laps he’s contested there.

Texas native Pat Green once sang that he had “Texas On My Mind.”

Busch just has speed on his mind.

 

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:

 

Talk about how challenging Texas Motor Speedway is. 

“It was an incredible qualifying run last year and to set a track record. The feel of the tire and the asphalt were better in the fall than the spring. So, now that it’s aged even more through the wintertime with the rain and the cold and the track settling a little bit more, the track will be that much better. And, what I saw last year during the playoff race at Texas was a textbook pass for the lead with Kevin Harvick passing (Martin) Truex (Jr.) going into turn one. He was able to cut underneath him in turn two. Then you get that run through the fast sections between turns three and four. Texas Motor Speedway has a very unique layout with the speed differences between three and four and one and two.” 

Overall thoughts heading to Texas this week?  

“Texas is a good track for us and a good market. I always enjoy coming out to Texas. Hopefully, the weather will look perfect for this weekend. It’s a great track.”

Talk about your record-setting lap last year at Texas.

“(Turns) three and four are an incredible sensation. Once the car goes into the banking, it travels. The suspension collapses in the car and the car gets lower to the ground and picks up speed because you are lower to the ground and have less drag. It is a sensation that is hard to describe. When you have that grip level in the car, it gives you the feeling that you can just put it down to the floor and there won’t be any consequences. Turns one and two are where I think the lap times come from – if you can get it to hook and stay right on the bottom because that end of the track is a lot flatter. You have to back out of the gas all the way. Then, in three and four, you can hold it wide open. Both ends of the track are very different. It is a cool sensation going through three and four almost holding it wide open.”