With five top-10 finishes in the last six races, Kurt Busch has seemingly come out of nowhere and emerged as a legitimate contender for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series title. His strength was on full display this past weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway when he chased down and passed younger brother Kyle in the closing laps to earn his first win of the year and in the process secure a berth in the upcoming Cup Series playoffs.
Busch, who recently became a free agent for 2022 when it was announced that Chip Ganassi Racing and Trackhouse Racing will merge at season’s end, now has even more motivation to go out and perform at a high level. After all, he’s not only racing for a championship; he’s racing to shore up his future in the series he’s been a part of for two decades. Members of his team likewise don’t know where they will be next year. “This is where the spirit of a team comes together,” siad Busch, the 2004 Cup champion. “I'm very proud of our guys with the news that we have had as far as our team ownership changing, and people are knocking at our door or people are looking at other places to go. We've just got to stay focused and stay on the task at hand.”
His playoff ticket now officially punched, Busch should be one of the contenders to win on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway — a place where he’s been to Victory Lane three times but not since 2008. Rather than being in the thick of the scrum around the playoff bubble, Busch can simply go out and focus on collecting more points ahead of the playoffs. “That's a great feeling,” he said.