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Continuing Progress is Top of Mind for Kurt Busch at Martinsville Cup Race

Thursday October 25, 2012


Continuing Progress is Top of Mind 
for Kurt Busch at Martinsville Cup Race
DENVER, Colo. (Oct. 24, 2012) – In a little over two weeks since officially joining Furniture Row Racing as the driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet, Kurt Busch’s feelings about the future of the Colorado-based team have already increased a few levels on the excitement meter.
“We’ve been in two races and conducted three test sessions during this short period of time together, and we’re already seeing progress as we are getting prepped for the 2013 season,” said Busch. “Everyone is upbeat and the adrenalin is flowing at a faster pace. We’re having fun.”
Part of Furniture Row Racing’s demanding schedule since Busch came on board was a short track test session in preparation for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
The short track test session was conducted at the low-banking, half-mile Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway, a similar layout to the .526-mile Martinsville track.
“Martinsville hasn’t been one of my best venues and it was important to get some testing in with the Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet,” noted Busch. “Overall I was pleased with the Sandusky test and hopefully that will translate into something positive this weekend at Martinsville.”
While Busch concedes that Martinsville’s flat track has not been good to him with an average finish of 21.3 in 24 career starts, he has had some strong results at the historic venue, including a victory in the 2002 fall race.
“The victory at Martinsville was indeed special, but to be honest, I’ve had more thumbs down than thumbs up performances there,” said Busch. “Overall, things just haven’t worked out for me at Martinsville.”
What Busch would like to see in Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500 is a repeat performance – minus the bad luck – of the previous Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway.
After qualifying 29th at the 1.5-mile Kansas oval, Busch charged to the front and was running in the top-five by lap 90 of 267. But a few major incidents, including car damage as a result of getting collected in a multicar accident and later a blown tire with 11 laps remaining, stymied his progress as he settled for a 25th-place result.

“The finish was disappointing at Kansas, but the performance was encouraging,” said Furniture Row Racing crew chief Todd Berrier. “Kurt’s driving skills were impressive to watch, and the more we work together, the better we will become. We’re learning about each other and feel good about what we’ve accomplished in a very short period of time.”
Along with the Sandusky test, Busch and the No. 78 team tested two days in Kansas last week, two days in Phoenix this week and will conduct a two-day test next month in Charlotte.
Busch’s Career Cup Record at Martinsville Speedway
                     St     Fn
2000 (fall)   40    37
2001            41    33
                     40    35
2002            20    10
                     36      1
2003            36    28
                     13    39
2004            7      11
                     7       5
2005            9      19
                    14      6
2006            9      11
                     1      27
2007            12    12
                     11    31
2008            20    33
                     19    36
2009             2     18
                     37    17
2010             6     23
                     29    16
2011            20    16
                      8      14
2012            40     33            
No. 78 Over-the-Wall Crew
Front-tire changer      Shane Pipala, Frankfort Square, IL       
Front-tire carrier          Art Simmons, Newark, Mo.  
Rear-tire changer       Coleman Dollarhide, Hickory, N.C. 
Rear-tire carrier          Dwayne Moore, Griffin, Ga.
Jackman                      Gabe Martin, Lake Wylie, S.C. 
Gasman                       Justin White, Lynnville, Tenn. 
2nd Gasman                Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn. 
7th Man/Windshield   Todd Carmichael, Redding, Calif. 
No. 78 Road Crew
Crew Chief                        Todd Berrier, Kernersville, N.C. 
Competition Director        Mark McArdle, La Crosse, Wis. 
Car Chief                           Robert Huffman, Hickory, N.C. 
Engineers                          Cole Pearn, London, Ontario
                                             Matt Faulkner, Memphis, Tenn. 
Technical Director            Phil Jimenez, Germantown, Tenn.
Spotters                              Rick Carelli, Arvada, Colo.  
                                             Clayton Hughes, Thomasville, N.C. 
Engine Specialist             Scott Meesters, Hanford, Calif. 
Engine Builder                  Earnhardt-Childress Racing
Shock Specialist               Nick Kerlin, Old Fort, Ohio
Tire Specialist                   Chad Krauch, Loveland, Colo.
Technical Support            Michael McCullough, Imperial, Calif. 
Mechanics                         Ryan Bergenty, Plainville, Conn. 
                                            Todd Carmichael, Redding, Calif. 
                                            Joe Kerrigan, Canon City, Colo. 
Transportation                  Henry Benfield (also gas runner), Statesville, N.C.  
                                            Jim Gilbert, Belleville, IL
                                            Dave Hicks, Montcalm, WVa. 
                                            Chuck Lemay, DeKalb, IL 

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Beth Lunkenheimer.


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