KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Points leader) TALK ABOUT BATTLING BACK. "It was a tall order of adversity to overcome. Early on we got spun and in the back of the pack the car handles completely different. Once we worked our ...
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus (Points leader)
TALK ABOUT BATTLING BACK.
"It was a tall order of adversity to overcome. Early on we got spun and in the back of the pack the car handles completely different. Once we worked our way towards the front it began to handle differently. Then Harvick blew up in front of us - a fresh streak of oil right across the windshield. We could have gotten into that. We had a disastrous turn four episode and I don't even know who was in it. I know Mark suffered damage as well as the 12 and the 77 was spinning and I just cut through the grass because I saw that as the only opening. And the kitchen sink on the back straightaway - we avoided it too, so we had a busy day."
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO KEEP THE CAR STRAIGHT IN THE GRASS?
"It's always fun to get to go through the grass when you win and you get to cut cookies and do doughnuts, but when you're racing and you see some action in front of you, you try to hit it as straight as you can and make sure that your wheel is pointed at noon and hold it straight all the way through. The only problem at Charlotte is they have the Legends track that's in the infield and I was hoping not to gain damage from the grass to the asphalt back to the grass and we were able to scoot through that with no problem. We got lucky on that side of it, as well as most of the night just being able to overcome all the hurdles and the adversity. To be able to put together a top-five finish at a track that I've never finished in the top 10, it came at a perfect time and to be able to do this a few weeks in a row, I hope I'm not wearing out my horseshoe too quick."
AT SOME POINT ARE YOU THINKING THAT MAYBE IT'S DESTINY FOR YOU TO WIN THIS?
"It's very difficult to gain points when everybody is running top five each week and when we look at these race tracks coming up, they all have their own different attitude and you have to put together the best package that you can - whether you're able to test there or whether your past notes will give you an advantage. For us, you're right, there have been circumstances that we've avoided by mere inches and the way we've bounced back from those and put together top-five efforts continuously, it's one effort to be lucky and it's another effort to be good. You've got to have the whole package and right now we're very blessed to be in this situation tonight. I mean, tonight was just horrible with all the circumstances that came in our direction, but to finish where we did tonight and to look at the next five tracks, we're now halfway through this. We didn't just run the first three now and start off on a hot foot. We've now run five events and almost finished in the top five every race, so we've got a short track of Martinsville and we've won there. A track of Atlanta, it's a high-speed mile and a half. Junior is gonna be tough, he won the last race there. We've won there in the past, but it's just a matter of what's gonna happen this time around."
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A NIGHT LIKE THIS WHERE THINGS ALMOST HAPPENED TO YOU BUT DIDN'T?
"To be able to have the type of finish that we did tonight was definitely something that I didn't think was possible with the amount of hurdles and adversity that we had to overcome. There have been other races that have been much worse. My first-ever race at Bristol I wrecked myself. I went back out and about 100 laps later I ran into the next wreck that I could find and they still wanted to give me practice at Bristol. I just didn't think that was the greatest idea that day and I ran into somebody else that night. It's just a whole different set of circumstances. I've been able to mature over the years and understand how when there's smoke you just let off and hopefully you don't get plowed in from behind."
THE CHALLENGE OF MARTINSVILLE.
"Martinsville is one of those short tracks that the Nextel Chase for the Cup contenders are all gonna run strong on. Junior has been strong. He's finished third there so many times. He's on the verge of winning. Jeff Gordon has had an advantage there the past few times. We've won there back in 2002. You just go down the list. Newman is gonna be strong and Mark Martin. The new surface there is gonna provide for a different type of racing. What I noticed there in testing is the marbles gathered quickly just outside of the racing groove, so it's gonna be single-file for awhile and it's just gonna be a matter of staying out of trouble. And another element that's gonna be new to Martinsville is the center of corner speed. There are gonna be guys that gain so much speed through the center of the corner on somebody that you've got to protect your radiator, so it's gonna be a battle."