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 said 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.
Then, after sitting through the 36-hour rain delay for the main event, he was caught in an accident on the second lap of the Daytona 500.
Last week in Las Vegas was a disaster: Busch had four different issues and his race ended with a hard crash after he ran over debris on the track.
He goes into today’s race at Bristol ranked 29th in points – the lowest Busch has been in the standings a month into the season since 2001.
“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.”
Now Busch has Bristol in front of him, and this was long ago his best track.
Busch has five wins at the bullring, including four victories in five races from 2002 to 2004. But his last win was in 2006, and Busch has just one top-five finish in the 11 races since that last trip to Victory Lane.