Despite a misunderstanding with NASCAR on Sunday, Kurt Busch will make his debut in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway as planned.
Busch was leading the Good Sam 500 at Talladega Superspeedway when his car ran out of fuel and he was hit from behind. The driver removed his helmet and climbed from the car to check whether it was still drivable. Busch ascertained the car could continue, jumped back in and drove off while unbeknownst to him NASCAR had directed him to stop.
NASCAR immediately called Busch to its hauler and parked the No. 51 Chevrolet for the remainder of the race. Considering that Busch is under probation from incidents at Darlington Raceway in May and Dover International Speedway in June, it was questionable to what extent NASCAR might choose to punish the driver. However, no further penalties are planned as a result of the incident.
Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion, is looking to make a fresh start with the Denver-based race team owned by Barney Visser. Busch parted ways with Penske Racing at the end of the 2011 season, concluding a six-year tenure that included 10 victories and four Chase for the Sprint Cup appearances. He optimistically joined James Finch’s Phoenix Racing at the start of 2012 and won one Nationwide Series race at Daytona while coming close to victories at Talladega in the spring and Sonoma in June.
Busch is currently 26th in driver points. He joins Furniture Row, which currently ranks an all-time best 23rd in the points standings. Veteran crew chief Todd Berrier joined the organization at the end of July and former driver Regan Smith went on to score one top-five and three top-10 finishes.