By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch has been able to witness the evolution of Ford Performance throughout his career. Of course, Busch started his career in the Fords owned by Jack Roush. Last year, he returned to Ford with Stewart-Haas Racing in the No. 41 Monster Energy / Haas Automation Ford Fusion.
Of Busch’s 29 victories in NASCAR’s Premier Series, 12 came while driving the ‘Blue Oval.’ In 2018 alone, Ford Performance has captured seven victories in the first 12 races, five with Kevin Harvick alone. Last year, it took 16 races for Ford to reach seven victories.
Since Busch left Ford in 2005 and returned last year, the philosophy of Ford Performance has changed. The mantra ‘One Ford’ has been prevalent, especially at superspeedways. At Talladega Superspeedway, Ford teams worked together to take six of the top seven positions, including the victory.
“The level of commitment (from Ford) still feels the same,” Busch explained. “Edsel Ford is still very active. Henry Ford is very active. But the immediate group underneath them now with Ford Performance, the Ford Performance group I see it everywhere. With all their different forms of motorsport collaborating together. Whereas Ford Racing before, maybe because I was younger and didn’t see it all, felt like it was more focused on the NASCAR program and didn’t use information from IndyCar or Cosworth in Formula 1 or sports cars. What I see now is information channels that are able to communicate quickly and gather data from all different branches of motorsports that Ford is involved in.”
The success of the communication between Ford Performance teams is evident as their drivers occupy seven of the top-10 positions in the Championship Points Standings. Busch currently sits fifth, 110 points behind his brother, Kyle Busch, and 127-points ahead of the cutoff for the Playoffs, held by Chase Elliott.
Now Kurt Busch and the Ford Performance teams will look to continue their dominance with the Ford Fusion, as it will be replaced with the Ford Mustang for next season.