Furniture Row Racing, a single-car organization headquartered in Denver, Colo., is racing in unfamiliar territory. Barney Visser’s team, which enjoys a technical relationship with Richard Childress Racing, has put a driver into the top 10 for the first time this late in the season since fielding its first NASCAR Sprint Cup entry in 2005.
Proving the volatility of this year’s championship battle, Kurt Busch has gone from 20th to ninth in just three races – fueled by a trio of top 10s capped by last weekend’s sixth-place finish at Daytona.
An unlikely pick to qualify for this year’s Chase, Visser and Busch are proving the experts wrong although the driver cautions about reading too much long term into the recent surge.
“We’re not putting the cart before the horse; we still have a long ways to go with a lot of hard work ahead of us,” said Busch. “You can go down as quickly as you can go up in the point standings.
“Look at us. We were 20th in points just four races ago.”
Busch’s future appeared cloudy after being released by Penske Racing after the 2011 season. Visser effectively got the 2004 champion off the “waiver wire” running Busch in last year’s final six events. Busch responded by ending the year with three consecutive top-10 performances.
The early season showed promise. Busch was spectacular at times but the finishes were uneven. Things began to click at Charlotte Motor Speedway where Busch finished third in May’s Coca-Cola 600 to kick off a run of five top 10s in seven races.
“We always felt the potential was there but the costly combination of mistakes and bad luck kept us from advancing,” said Busch, a 24-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winner. “We kept plugging away and the positive work effort is paying off.”