BRISTOL, Tenn. – If Kurt Busch had any doubt he’s stuck in a run of bad luck, it was probably confirmed when he hit a bird in one of the final practices for the Daytona 500.
It was like hitting a six-pound bowling ball, he sid Saturday.
Alas, there was more to come for Busch, who suffered through a horrendous SpeedWeeks at Daytona.
He was wrecked in practice for the exhibition opening race, and his new Phoenix Racing team had to thrash to put a seat in his backup car. The backup was then wrecked with two laps remaining in the race.
He was flagged for speeding on pit road in the Daytona 500 qualifying race, hit the bird in practice the day before the race in a collision that caused so much damage his team had to change the engine, and was leading when he was part of the last-lap wreck in the Nationwide Series race.
He goes into today’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway ranked 29th in points – the lowest Busch has been in the standings a month into the season since his 2001 rookie year.
I’m walking down pit road and people are looking up at the sky, hoping they don’t get hit by the same lightning, Busch said. That’s just my life in general, (stuff) just keeps happening.
He and Penske Racing decided to part ways at the end of last season. Busch believed he needed a fresh start, which he got with James Finch’s low-budget Phoenix Racing, and he went into this year determined to put the fun back in racing.
Intensity and an inability to accept mediocrity has always been Busch’s main flaw, and settling for an average finish is beyond him. But his new job with Phoenix Racing is forcing him to celebrate minor victories, such as finishing 15th at Phoenix two weeks ago.
Although he seems convinced he’s got a black cloud hanging over his head, he acknowledges the bad luck can’t follow him forever.
There are going to be our shining moments where we put a solid race together, be a top-10, a top-five, Busch said. Phoenix was 15th, that’s exactly what we needed.
The only way we are ever going to get through this is just keep plugging away.