Kurt Busch to reach significant career milestone at Dover


Kurt Busch will set a significant personal milestone this Sunday at Dover International Speedway, as he makes his 500th career Sprint Cup start.

And in an ironic twist, Busch will reach that milestone at the very same track where he made his first career Sprint Cup start back in 2000. He qualified 10th for that race and ultimately finished 18th.

That’s a far cry from where Busch is heading into Dover this weekend. Currently ranked 15th in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, Busch is in a must-win situation if he hopes to be one of four drivers who avoids elimination from continuing in the Chase after Sunday’s race.

Hard as it may seem to believe – where has the time gone – but Busch is now in his 15th Sprint Cup season, starting with an abbreviated seven-race stint in 2000 for Roush Racing before moving to full-time status the following season.

Busch, who turned 36 last month (August 4), has 25 career Sprint Cup wins, including being the first championship winner of the Chase for the Nextel Cup (now Sprint Cup) in 2004.

Busch also has 106 top-five and 198 top-10 finishes in his 499 starts to date, as well as has earned 16 poles.

Busch was quite the prolific race winner earlier in his career, capturing 14 victories from 2002 through 2005.

But since then, Busch has managed just 11 wins since the start of the 2006 season, a span of nearly nine seasons. His win earlier this year at Martinsville was his first since two victories in 2011.

To mark Busch’s accomplishment, his Haas Automation Chevy will have a special brushed-metal paint scheme at Dover.

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IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”