CONCORD, N.C. (October 11, 2000)- Kurt Busch may not be piloting the No. 97 John Deere Ford in Winston Cup competition this weekend, but that doesn't mean he is taking the week off. Besides competing in Friday's O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor...
CONCORD, N.C. (October 11, 2000)- Kurt Busch may not be piloting the No. 97 John Deere Ford in Winston Cup competition this weekend, but that doesn't mean he is taking the week off. Besides competing in Friday's O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in the Craftsman Truck Series, Busch spent Tuesday and Wednesday testing at North Carolina Speedway in preparation for his fourth Winston Cup start of the season, the Pop Secret 400.
This week is nothing out of the ordinary for the 22-year-old Busch, who has been living out of a suitcase for the past month. Busch began his jet-setting month in late September when he completed a double-duty weekend, competing in the Craftsman Truck event before making his first Winston Cup debut at Dover Downs International Speedway. After a successful weekend that saw Busch win the Craftsman Truck race and finish 18th in his first Winston Cup event, it was off to Martinsville Speedway for his second Winston Cup start followed by two full days of testing at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 2-3.
Busch and the John Deere team got a few hours of sleep upon returning to Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday night before they had to head to Lowe's Motor Speedway on Wednesday for Pole Night, followed by three days worth of activities leading up to Sunday's UAW-GM 500. After pulling off his career-best finish in the Winston Cup ranks last Sunday, 13th place, Busch got a well-deserved day of rest on Monday. On Tuesday, October 10, Busch and the team were back on the road for two days of testing in Rockingham, N.C., and following today's second day of testing, Busch will fly to Texas where he will begin on-track activities tomorrow for the Craftsman Truck event.
"This has been a whirlwind tour for me the past month," Busch said. "I haven't even had a chance to move into my new residence down in Charlotte yet. I'm hoping that after Phoenix I will have a few days to get my stuff moved in and have a new place to call home. I'm 22 (years old), so I can handle this right now. Everything has come together so quickly that I find myself just going with the flow of things. Jeff (Hammond) and the entire No. 97 team have made the adjustment almost seamless, so besides the obvious, I don't recognize any distractions in my daily life. I'm a race car driver and these are just a few of the concessions you need to make to be successful."
Busch's schedule doesn't let up after this weekend, even though there is just one more Craftsman Truck event left on the schedule. If anything, it's the travel time that increases. He will make his way out to Phoenix for a two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 17-18, before traveling back east to compete at North Carolina Speedway. While most of the Winston Cup competitors will have the following weekend off, Busch tests at Homestead-Miami Speedway for two days before traveling back to the West Coast for the Craftsman Truck season finale at Fontana, Calif. With little time to unpack, Busch has to be in Phoenix on Thursday, November 2 for the Craftsman Truck banquet, where he has all but wrapped up Rookie-of-the-Year honors and a top-three points finish, before heading to Phoenix International Raceway for Winston Cup on-track activities beginning on Friday.
After the Phoenix race, however, the end of the season is in sight. All testing will be complete before the final two Winston Cup events on the schedule at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, so Busch may even have the time to wash a few loads of laundry.
"The key to success is preparation and that's what we're hoping to gain from these test dates," Busch said. "Martinsville was the only track we did not have an opportunity to test, and hopefully that will be the worst finish of the seven races. You can't always control what happens during the race, but you can make sure you put yourself in a position to be successful if things go your way. That's the way we're looking at things this year. We're going to put ourselves in a position to be successful, and hope that the results will follow."
<pre> Breaking it down:
September 19 Lowe's Motor Speedway Winston Cup test September 20 Dover Downs International Speedway Craftsman Truck test September 21 - 22 Dover Downs International Speedway Craftsman Truck events September 22 - 24 Dover Downs International Speedway Winston Cup events September 29 - Oct 1 Martinsville Speedway Winston Cup events October 2 - 3 Atlanta Motor Speedway Winston Cup test October 4 - 8 Lowe's Motor Speedway Winston Cup events October 10 - 11 North Carolina Speedway Winston Cup test October 12 - 14 Texas Motor Speedway Craftsman Truck events October 17 - 18 Phoenix International Raceway Winston Cup test October 20 - 22 North Carolina Speedway Winston Cup events October 24 - 25 Homestead-Miami Speedway Winston Cup test October 26 - 28 California Speedway Craftsman Truck events November 2 Craftsman Truck banquet (Phoenix) November 3 - 5 Phoenix International Raceway Winston Cup events November 10 - 12 Homestead-Miami Speedway Winston Cup events November 17 - 19 Atlanta Motor Speedway Winston Cup events
41 days of racing activities out of 62 calendar days