Busch sweeps Bristol Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus, became the first driver since Rusty Wallace in 2000 to sweep both NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch registered his fourth...
Busch sweeps Bristol
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus, became the first driver since Rusty Wallace in 2000 to sweep both NASCAR Winston Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch registered his fourth win of the year, which is as many victories he had in his first two full seasons combined.
Busch has four of Ford's seven triumphs this season with Dale Jarrett, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle owning the other three. In addition, the win was the 544th all-time Ford victory in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and 74th for Taurus.
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus - VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
"I didn't want to have anything happen tonight that would be anything towards the negative and I apologize for that (the 40 car incident). But this crew deserves to win. They fought hard. They stuck behind me and we got the right setup underneath this Sharpie Ford."
WHAT ABOUT THE RESTARTS WITH HARVICK? "I thought he was gonna give us a run for our money. I knew the 8 was strong. I've been here in the past, so with the restart late in the race, I just needed to stick to my marks and hit 'em and that way I was able to pull away."
HOW SWEET IS THIS WIN AFTER EVERYTHING THIS WEEK? "I don't know what to think. I don't know what to absorb yet or what to believe, but I know this has to be the sweetest of all - to be able to conquer what we've been able to overcome this week, put everything behind us and march forward. This group of guys behind me, I can't do it without them and they're the ones that are the most important."
WERE YOU ABLE TO PUT IT OUT OF YOUR MIND DURING THE RACE? "Not one lap."
TODD BODINE - No. 54 National Guard Taurus (Finished 37th)
"It's just typical Bristol. Somebody got into somebody up in front of me. I'm not quite sure who it was, but usually the fifth car back or so gets it and that's what happened. That's just Bristol. I'm not gonna blame anybody for me being wrecked, but somebody got into somebody. It's a shame for the National Guard Ford and this crew. We had a really good car in happy hour. We were 13th. The car was really good on old tires. We were starting in the back, but we knew what we had and felt if we could be patient and take our time and stay out of trouble, that we'd have something for them."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 CITGO Taurus (Finished 32nd)
"It's just a typical Bristol deal. The 7 got into the 12. I don't know if something happened in front of the 12, but he just got turned sideways and, of course, I was right there. The guy behind me got into me, but it's just a typical wreck at Bristol. Nobody did anything intentionally or anything, it's just that stuff happens. It's really disappointing. We had an awesome race car tonight. We started 37th and had blasted up through the pack without pit strategy or anything. We had passed a lot of cars. This CITGO car had an honest chance of winning and it's just disappointing because everytime we get a car that can win we have something happen. We'll keep truckin' along. This is a great race team. We're working hard. We're getting better every week. It's really frustrating, but, at the same time, I see a lot of progress."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 Combos/M&M's Taurus (Finished 38th)
"I just got a little loose under the 4 car and we hit. When I hit his fender I didn't want to wreck him. We just pinched myself off. It's a shame because we were making the Combos Ford better and better. We actually had the pit strategy worked out for track position at the end of the race, but it just wasn't meant to be. It is one of my favorite tracks. I don't like to be sitting here watching everybody else race at it, but we'll be back at Darlington. This is a strong race team and we'll prevail."
WHY SO MANY CAUTIONS? "I don't know. I think track position is just so much more important now than it has ever been, so you don't want to give up any spots at all. Everybody is doing a little bit more blocking and a little bit more cutting off. I think that's why you're seeing more cautions because the competition level is getting better and better and track position is getting more important every week. I think that's why you're seeing it."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 36th)
"Johnny Sauter lost it - how many times, I don't know. That's what happens at Bristol. Golly, we had a fast car - not fast enough to go from the back to the front, but we had a good strategy and had a good enough car to run forever on tires." YOU HAD JUST PITTED. "Actually, we just pitted and came out in something like third place and had to pit again. That's really what happened. You've got all these cars out there, everybody is driving for their jobs."
YOU REALLY CAN'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED AT THIS TRACK UNTIL IT'S OVER. "That's five out of six races I've wrecked here. None of them have I caused, they were all wrecks that happened in front of me. There's nothing I can do about that. I wish there was, but I can't help it."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Taurus (Finished 4th)
YOU STOPPED FOR TIRES ON THE LAST CAUTION AND IT PAID OFF. "Yeah, it was a good call. I probably should have stopped one stop earlier and we might have had a chance at the win, but it really came through on new tires. I'm proud of my DEWALT guys. I feel bad for the whole day because of the incident with the 24. That was an accident, but it makes me feel horrible. That kind of ruins the whole day for us, but it was a great finish for my guys."
DID YOU JUST RUN OUT OF LAPS? "Yeah, the tires are definitely best right away so you can make up the most ground right away. I could have passed the 42 that last lap, but I would have had to hit him pretty hard to pass him and I didn't want to do that. I probably could have run second or third. We might have had a shot to win if we would have pitted one time earlier, but there's just so much traffic. If more people would have pitted with us, we would have restarted farther up, but for starting that far back with 50 to go, that was a great run."
YOU DODGED ONE MORE BULLET. "Yeah, any week you can leave the race track and gain points on the guys you're racing it's a good feeling. It was a good day for Roush. The 97 won the race and we finished good. Greg ran good and Mark ran good, so it was a good day for all of us. I feel good about where we're at in the points and that we gained a little bit on it today, but, like I said, I'm just disappointed I got into the 24. I feel bad about that. That kind of puts a damper on the day because it's certainly not how you want to race."
WHAT HAPPENED THERE? "I pulled down to actually get out of his way because he was on new tires and he got by me and then there was car coming on the outside. He was on the gas and he was coming in front of me real good and I don't think he was sure I was out of there, so I got out of the gas. He got out of the gas at the same time and I just ran him over."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 7th)
"It was a good night. The car ran good all night right from the start. I got a little bit loose and we finally got a rubber out of the right rear and the car got a lot better and a lot more racy. We came in. We planned on our last pit stop being around lap 340-something and we had the next caution with about 75 or 80 to go. I was afraid all the guys behind me were gonna get tires and then I'd be the last guy left there without tires, so Shawn and I made a good call there. We came and got two and then went back up through there like a ball of fire. We really didn't need that last caution. That allowed these other guys to go in and get some tires. The only spot that we lost was to Kenseth, but I think if we could have kept running, then I had a better chance at the 12 and the 48 and those guys. But it was a good night. That's the best we've run here in a long time, so I see a little improvement."
THERE WERE 20 CAUTIONS. WHAT WAS GOING ON? "It's ridiculous. You know that you can't hardly give up anything because track position is so important. If they wanted to make the cars equal, they did it, but that's more conducive to racing on bigger tracks, not half-mile tracks with 43 cars where there is basically one groove. The only thing people can do is you get impatient and, if you try to give a guy a break, then you get hit from behind. It's just tough racing."
DAVE BLANEY - No. 77 Jasper Engines Taurus (Finished 30th)
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE WRECK THAT DAMAGED YOUR CAR? "I don't even know. The 7, the 99, the 12 and me, we were just inches apart and somebody got into somebody and we just all piled in. My car was actually really fast. We were happy with it. We just kept inching forward, but it always happens to half the guys here and you've just got to try to stay out of trouble. You can do all you can yourself, but then you run into something you can't avoid. That's the way it goes here."
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 33rd)
"I'm just real disappointed. I got hung up there. Something went wrong, a lugnut fell off or something on a pit stop late and we gave up a bunch of positions. Then I guess they had that wreck in front of us. There were actually two wrecks. I missed the first one and got in the second one I guess and that was our night."
FRUSTRATING? "Well, the race was going our way, but that's typical Bristol. We were just sitting there doing things like we wanted to, but we got one set of tires that wouldn't go at all. We lost some positions because of that, but then we got that back. Then something happened on a pit stop, so we got deep in the field late in the race. When I say deep, we were about 14th. That wasn't any good right there, so that set up the scenario to finish us off. On the other side of it, we've run like a dog all year. Tonight we ran good, we just didn't get the finish we deserved."