Kurt Busch optimistic about his chances at the Glen

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At the end of last month, Kurt Busch and his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet team spent two days testing at Watkins Glen International (pictured) in hopes of finding any advantage that could lead to a win that vaults them into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Going into this weekend’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen, Busch sits 13th in the Cup standings, 11 points out of 10th place. With no wins to fall back on and just five “regular season” races left to either get one or move into the Top 10 in points, he heads for a track that has never been one of his better places (one Top-5 in 12 Cup starts).

But the 2004 Cup champion believes that his test at the Glen on July 29-30 will prove to be time well spent.

“When we went there, we opened up Pandora’s box with some braking issues and were able to master that by the end of the test,” he said in a team statement. “I feel confident heading back there – not to just have speed in qualifying but to have speed throughout the race.

“It’s an important race in a critical juncture of the season.”

Busch kept pace with the rest of the Chase contenders last weekend at Pocono with a third-place result, which was a sign of progress for a team that hasn’t always converted its good pace into representative results this year.

In the meantime, he’s not worrying about his other rivals that are also trying to make their way into the Chase – even though he notes just how tight the battle amongst themselves will be.

“You’re running against Jeff Gordon, a four-time champion and [Brad] Keselowski, a champion from last year is in the mix. [Greg] Biffle is strong, [Martin] Truex won earlier in Sonoma, [Ryan] Newman won at Indy. They’re all Chase material,” he said.

“For us, we’re just putting the blinders on and worried only about the 78. We just need to have nice, smooth races and execute like we did in Pocono.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”