As silly season starts to rev up a gear, one of the central figures from a curiosity standpoint is Kurt Busch. What a difference a year makes: he’s gone from a bad boy trying to scrounge a ride to stay in the sport, and now that he’s raised the bar at Furniture Row Racing, suddenly the 2004 champion is a hot commodity.
Success is a great deodorant. OK, let’s give the man credit; if Kurt has been anything less than a model citizen nobody’s talking about it.
Here’s what we’re talking about: Kurt Busch has raised the game at Furniture Row, no small feat for a one-car team out on that NASCAR frontier known as Denver, Colorado. The Barney Visser-owned is in an excellent position to make the Chase, and the ‘78’ team has often been in a position to win this season. That second victory in team history (Regan Smith got the first at Darlington when he had the car), could come as early as Sunday the way things are going.
This pairing of Busch and Furniture Row has been symbiotic. He’s taken FRR, while they’ve offered the only slightly less volatile older brother of Kyle Busch a new start. Suddenly, there are rumors and suggestions to the effect that the native of Las Vegas could land in the ‘29’ ride at Richard Childress, or maybe the ‘42’ at Earnhardt- Ganassi. There’s always persisting rumors of team expansions at Joe Gibbs, and at Stewart- Haas.
Cue The Clash: for Busch the question is “should I stay or should I go?” I’ve got a feeling he will stay, and frankly, I think the 35-year ought to stay.
Remember who Kurt is….can you really see him racing for Richard Childress? He’s a Busch! Frankly, Ryan Newman looks like a better fit, unless Penske puts Rocket back in his old ‘12’ ride (it will take sponsorship scratch to make that happen, and you can’t help but think Sam Hornish Jr. is first in line.) How about the ‘42’ at Earnhardt- Ganassi? Would Busch really be better off at EGR than he is now?
By every indication, Kurt Busch is having more fun than he’s had in some time. Busch and crew chief Todd Berrier are showing no signs of strife, even when things haven’t gone according to Hoyle on pit road. Granted, winning would make it a lot more fun. A lot of Busch staying will hinge on whether or not he thinks the team has topped out, or if there’s some potential to continue improving. The other scenarios are much longer shots, but then again, silly seasons past have produced wilder outcomes.
Unless there’s another really compelling offer out there, it’s hard to imagine Busch wanting to move on from Furniture Row. It would probably be nice to stay put for a bit and perhaps stick around and enjoy the spoils of victory that comes with being a part of building something unique. Think of it, a one car team in the Chase. How cool is that?