Figuratively and literally, Kurt Busch is in a great place right now.
Busch will start on the outside of Row 1 for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after posting a qualifying lap of 135.835 miles per hour in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet SS.
The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion enters the New Hampshire race 10th in the Sprint Cup points standings after posting four finishes of seventh or better in his last five races.
And because Busch’s deal with Colorado-based Furniture Row is only for 2013, and because Busch has had a stellar season on and off the track this year, he’s in an enviable position for the near future in terms of rides. Put simply, Busch is one of the most coveted free agents on the market at the moment.
Now that Kevin Harvick has finally been officially confirmed at Stewart-Haas Racing for 2014, Busch certainly will be in play during NASCAR’s annual Silly Season.
In recent weeks, Busch has been running so well that it seems inevitable he will break through and score his first race victory since October 2011 at Dover International Speedway. And it certainly could happen on Sunday at NHMS, where Busch already is a three-time winner.
Long known as one of the most intense and passionate drivers out there, Busch knows he actually might need to throttle back a little to find Victory Lane again.
“I threw away a winning car at Sonoma trying to go too fast on pit road,” Busch said after his qualifying run on Friday. “And some of the events this year, we’ve just had little things pop up that I’ve induced or the team has thrown a wrench in the mix. But we can’t force it. I keep saying it and then I go out there and I try a little bit harder and drive that 101 percent and it steps over the line.”
After saying that, Busch told the media at NHMS that they just might have to wait.
“We might as well just keep you guys (media) on pins and needles and drag this all the way out to the end,” Busch joked with reporters. “As long as we’re running good, and running and posting top finishes, that’s what the most important thing is.”
As for his future plans, they are still very much up in the air, but in a good way.
“Contract negotiations and things are in discussion, but you try not to let that weigh any of what’s going on right now,” Busch said. “Right now is the most important thing. Living in the present. That’s some of the things going on behind the scenes, too. There are a lot of irons in the fire. It’s good to run well. Being in the top 10 in points is an accomplishment. Now we’ve just got to close the door behind us and make sure we are part of the group that is in it.”