After last Saturday night’s race at Daytona, Kurt Busch finds himself in the top 10 in points for the first time this season. Personally, I think he and his team will stay there.
The No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet SS has been fast all year long. What we saw Saturday night was a team that for once didn’t have to overcome an obstacle.
They didn’t have to overcome a pit-road speeding penalty.
They didn’t get into another car.
Lug nuts weren’t left loose during a pit stop.
This was probably the first time where they had an uneventful race. The irony of that is it comes at a place like Daytona where anything and everything can happen and usually does.
In finishing sixth Saturday night, it marked that No. 78 car’s third consecutive top-10 finish. The driver and team ran together a few races at the end of last season and now half of the 2013 season. Now, to a large degree, I think this team is getting caught up to Kurt Busch’s talent.
We all know Busch is a past champion of our sport and one of the most talented drivers in the garage. Obviously, earlier this season the team and driver were having trouble putting a whole race together and closing the deal.
The good news is they were fast at the end of last year and have been just as fast almost every week this year with this new car.
Kurt even mentioned it in his post-race comments Saturday night that he and the team are finally reaping the fruits of their labor and getting consecutive great finishes.
We are seeing a different Kurt Busch. We are seeing a driver that seems more at peace with himself. Now he seems like he is not only having fun but really enjoying what he is doing.
We know Kurt Busch knows how to win races. He knows how to finish up front and how to win the Chase. Let’s face it, he won the very first Chase championship. Now, true, this is unfamiliar territory for this No. 78 team. Collectively, they have never been a top-five or top-10 team.
But the guy guiding the ship, crew chief Todd Berrier, has been in that position before with Kevin Harvick. So he knows what to expect and can share that experience with the guys and gals that work for him.
So, I just think with Kurt’s mindset right now and Todd’s leadership, I still see this group winning races. You simply can’t keep running up front week in and week out like they are doing and not eventually pull into Victory Lane.