Kurt Busch begins path to redemption with Furniture Row ride
First, he hinted he was out of a ride, and shortly thereafter Kurt Busch was named to the ride in 2013. Now, it's being reported that after Talladega this fall, he is out of the ride; with Busch finishing up the season for the 78 team in a tuneup for next year.
It's no shocker. When deals are announced during the season, often that start to the new ride begins before the current season ends.
On one hand, I do feel bad for Regan Smith. He had to have seen this coming, due to the team's lackluster performance as of late, but he did get them a win at Darlington and often ran above where the car should have been during his four years with the team.
That's not enough these days though. You need to be consistently better than he was. and I believe Kurt Busch can do a better job in this ride. Regan is talented, and I wish him luck, but this split might end up being a good thing for him after all. If another team picks him up, maybe he can have better chemistry and thrive; he was just surviving in the 78 ride.
Getting back to Busch, this move to the 78 car is the next stepping stone in his return to the sport's higher levels. He was considered damaged goods after his tirades of recent years, and the only person who picked him up was the barely hanging on James Finch team.
We knew that would be a one-year deal, but the question was where would he go next? I though the 43 car at RPM was an option, but that didn't pan out. The 78 car became the next best alternative -- Busch needed to take the first step up to get back in the good graces of the NASCAR world.
If he can do well in the 78 car, maybe run there a year or two and get a win or at least run up front regularly, don't be surprised if Richard Childress decides to give him a shot in Cup in the future. But if he returns to the ways that led him to fall so far so quickly, he'll likely never get another shot in a top-tier Cup ride.
It's all up to Kurt, and we'll see if he can overcome the deficit he created for himself in his career. Considering he is an underdog now, and the 78 team is definitely an underdog, I'd say they are a great fit.