Many Michigan Memories for Busch

Kurt Busch

Kurt Busch has enjoyed much success at Michigan International Speedway during his NASCAR career and is back for more this weekend. (Photo: Getty Images)


Kurt Busch has enjoyed much success at Michigan International Speedway during his NASCAR career.

He’s tied with Matt Kenseth among active drivers with three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins. Busch has four finishes of 12th or better, including a win, in his last five starts at the two-mile oval. He’s hoping to add to his successful resume in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.
"Michigan is a tough place because of the way the cars have that grip level on fresh tires versus old tires," he explained. "When you put on fresh tires, they're cold and they don’t grab the asphalt as well. A lot of guys try to stay out at Michigan with the hot tires on and they get better restarts. Restarts at Michigan are already pretty wild with how wide the track is."

Busch has enjoyed many Michigan memories as a member of the Ford stable and he’s back with the manufacturer now as a member of Stewart-Haas Racing. One of his most memorable experiences came in 2003, when he drove a Roush Fenway Racing Ford to Michigan’s Victory Lane almost 100 years after the company was formed.

That accomplishment remains a highlight of Busch’s career and his life.

"In my office at my house, I have a letter from Edsel Ford congratulating our team on the win," he said. "I framed it and put it in a similar format to a letter my grandfather got from Henry Ford when he was a Ford employee."

As a member of Ford, Busch and Stewart-Haas Racing are among several teams within the manufacturer’s stable sharing the philosophy of "One Ford." Busch believes that sharing of information and data, even among competitors, is beneficial to accomplishing maximum performance.

"Ford has a nice balance of what they’ve asked us to do and how we’re all sharing information moving forward," Busch said. "It’s a unique situation, having Doug Yates as our engine builder. He’s smart and on top of everything. So whether it’s the oiling system, water-cooling system, different gear ratios, we’ve been working closely together on those."

Busch had a decent day when the series visited Michigan in June with a 12th-place finish. While he doesn’t expect conditions to impact Sunday’s race, Busch says the change between Michigan’s June race and the August return is minimal.

"It’s usually warmer in the second race, but there isn’t that much of a difference," he said. "It's similar to Pocono. The temperatures are similar each time we go. It’s just a matter of if you catch cloud cover or a cold front."

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will have live coverage of Sunday's Pure Michigan 400, beginning at 2 p.m. (ET) - with live streaming at and on the MRN App.

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