Kurt Busch has pit crew shakeup as Chase heats up
DOVER, Del. (AP) — With the Chase heating up, Kurt Busch had a revamped pit crew at Dover.
He's going to need way more help from here on out to sniff a championship.
Furniture Row Racing had four new crew members working on Busch's No. 78 Chevrolet on Sunday. Busch entered the third Chase for the Sprint Cup championship seventh in the standings, well behind leader Matt Kenseth. He finished 21st at Dover and dropped to ninth in the standings, a whopping 55 points behind Kenseth.
Busch had a few strong shots at winning derailed this season because of miscues in the pits.
The crew members were from teams in Richard Childress Racing's Nationwide Series program. Furniture Row and RCR share a technical alliance.
"The performance of the car has advanced quicker than the performance of the pit crew," general manager Joe Garone said. "Then you find yourself in the Chase and now competing in that upper group, and we just haven't been getting it done."
With Busch aboard, team owner Barney Visser set the preseason goal of making the Chase. Busch, the 2004 champion, was one of the surprises of the season when he led one-car Furniture Row into the Chase.
Busch opened the Chase with a fourth-place finish at Chicagoland. But a broken jack and a lengthy pit stop last week at New Hampshire spoiled his day and he was 13th. It was just the latest gaffe that forced Furniture Row to consider a change before it was too late to make a run at the championship.
"It's not firing the guys, it's bringing them back in, taking them off the road," Garone said. "We just grabbed one of the Nationwide crews that have been having success on pit road. Just fresh guys that haven't had the pressure on them quite the way it's been on this group and just see if we can't make something happen."
Busch, who has 24 career Cup wins, is winless this season with nine top-five finishes.
"Without changing it, you can't expect to have a better result," Garone said. "We expect to have a better result."
Not at Dover. The Chevrolet had a loose right wheel early in the race, forcing an unplanned pit stop that put him three laps down. He never recovered.