Why did Busch choose to completely buy into the RCR way ahead of his first season with the organization? It would have been easy enough to try to get them to change to fit his ways. The answer boils down to the people that are on the Welcome, N.C., campus. They bring race wins and familiarity with Chevrolet to the table, which only helped Busch better make the transition.
“Randall [Burnett] is a smart guy,” Busch said at Nashville Superspeedway. “We’ve got some really good people over there. I really enjoy working with Justin Alexander, as well as Keith Rodden. All of those guys are pretty sharp guys. Buying into their way and their system because that’s how they’ve done it for so long was me getting an understanding and just being like, ‘Let’s go to work.’
“But also, to just say too that I’ve brought a lot to the table, as well from where I’ve been and some of the ways that I’ve done things before, too. We talked about that, and we’re intermixing a lot of that. Whether it’s 60/40 their way, my way, or vice versa, I don’t care, it doesn’t matter. It’s whatever works.
“So how we get through those things that work for them, and then the things that I always bring up that I’m still pushing for. There’s probably, I don’t know, how many items on my checklist, but at least five that are top priority that I’m really still forking them with and trying to get them to accomplish.”
Busch Has Achieved Early Success With RCR
Crew chief Randall Burnett entered the 2023 season with three career wins — all with Tyler Reddick. There were questions about how he and Busch would gel, but they quickly provided an answer.
Busch has celebrated three wins in the first 16 races while working with Burnett, and he has put himself solidly inside the top 10 in the standings. This sets him up to secure more bonus points once the playoffs begin at Darlington Raceway and potentially work his way through the opening rounds.
That being said, Busch’s focus is not on the Round of 16. Instead, he and Burnett have the goal of securing more stage wins and race wins before the end of the regular season so that they can further stockpile playoff points.
This will help offset any unexpected crashes or mechanical issues that could disrupt races in the opening rounds, something that happened to Busch during the 2022 playoffs. Though Busch noted that other factors will have an impact.
“Championship-caliber team, I would say our guys are super good at building some really good cars,” Busch said. “We’ve had some really clean stuff. The job that each member on the team has been doing has been top-notch. I get in the car, all my stuff is there — the windshield tear-offs are right, the black-out’s good.
“Like details, it comes down to the details. So to me, from what I can tell, it’s where we need to be. Praises to them and I’m looking forward to racing out the rest of the year with the way that we’ve had our start.”
Certain Tracks Line Up Well for Busch & RCR
Busch has three wins already, and he has 10 left in the regular season. After that, he will have 10 more races to potentially punch his ticket to the championship four. Winning races in each round will be the goal, but he could potentially point his way into the finale.
There are some races that pose some concerns for Busch. Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway stand out considering the struggles that RCR has experienced in short track races.
The rest of the tracks stand out as opportunities to add more wins. Busch already has secured wins at several of them. Examples include New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Richmond Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Texas Motor Speedway.