KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Operation Home Front/Miller Lite Dodge Charger) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CHANCE TO SWEEP ALL THREE CHARLOTTE RACES THIS SEASON? "We have a very unique opportunity. There have only been seven guys to have the opportunity to...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Operation Home Front/Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CHANCE TO SWEEP ALL THREE CHARLOTTE RACES THIS SEASON? "We have a very unique opportunity. There have only been seven guys to have the opportunity to sweep all three Cup races in the same season here at Charlotte. I feel excited about it. We're definitely pumped up about it inside the team with the challenge that's out in front of us during these 10 weeks of the Chase. To bring home a win here at Charlotte on Saturday night would boost us up in the points and get us back on track to where we need to be. It's a win-win for us. We like the extra pressure. It's a chance to do something special and hopefully we can deliver with the Miller Lite Dodge."
HAVE WE REACHED A POINT IN THE CHASE THAT THE FOUR OR FIVE OR SIX GUYS BEHIND JIMMIE JOHNSON CAN'T RELY ON TOP 10 FINISHES AND HAVE TO WIN RACES TO GET BACK INTO CONTENTION? "No, not at all. Anything can happen at any given moment. Whether it's an engine failure, another competitor running into someone on the track, points can swap so fast that anything can happen and it's anyone's game. There's no reason to panic. There's no reason to do anything out of the ordinary. If you're running around fifth or sixth in points and you win, you can't expect to vault into second-place anymore, you have to work your way around those guys. But if the leader has problems then it opens the door for everybody."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT 2004 WHEN YOU LEFT THE RACE AND THOUGHT THAT YOU LOST THE POINTS LEAD AND WHEN YOU GOT HOME YOU HAD ACTUALLY WERE THE LEADER? "In Atlanta, we went into the day with a 90 point advantage - I think it was seven races into the Chase. The problems that were on track that day, Jeff Gordon broke a gear. Dale Jr. ended up getting spun out by the 99 car going down the back straightaway. When the leader has trouble it opens up the door for everybody."
HOW OFTEN DO YOU MAKE A MOVE LATE IN THE RACE BECAUSE IT'S "GO TIME" THAT YOU WOULDN'T NORMALLY MAKE? "You just have to make the move that you need to, to gain the points to preserve a solid finish and you have to know who you're racing with at all times. If you're trying to scramble from 25th and work your way up there, you're not racing with Chase guys. The Chase guys are running first through seventh probably. It depends. If you're right up there in the mix restarting in the first of second row, yeah, you're going to be in a heated battle with some Chase guys. Further back you have to know who you're racing against."
AT WHAT POINT DOES IT BECOME HOW MANY GUYS ARE BETWEEN YOU AND POINTS LEADER? "You're always focused on the point's leader, whoever it is. If the point's leader has trouble, it opens up the door for a lot of guys to think that that have a better shot at moving up in points. But yeah, you can't leapfrog guys that had a solid day. You're always focusing on the leader. At a point with two or three races to go if you find yourself eighth, ninth, 10th in points, maybe that's when you focus on the other guys and you try to scramble to get a top five out of the points at the season's end."
WHEN YOU WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP, IS IT MORE OF WHAT YOU DO AS A DRIVER OR THE MISTAKES THAT OTHER DRIVERS MAKE? "You can't control what others do. You have to focus on your own team and make sure that your team has ever area of it covered as far as pit stops, downforce, engine department, you name it - you have to be solid. I don't see college football teams winning championships because they slopped into it. It's because they had the effort there all year long to be a top-notched program. It works a little bit different in Major League Baseball or basketball when they have a best of seven series because you can go up or down. That's similar to what we have with a 10 race playoff, you can go up or go down, but at the end you can't go up there swinging for singles, you have to go up there and swing for home runs."
HOW MUCH OF YOUR MAY SETUP CAN YOU BRING BACK THIS WEEKEND? HOW MUCH WILL IT CHANGE BECAUSE OF THE COOLER CONDITIONS THIS WEEK? "We started off exactly where we were in May and it seems like the pace has just picked up tremendously. We tried a couple of things in practice that we've learned since May and they really didn't seem to give our car speed. So we're right back to where we were in May. We've made two big adjustments one on the frontend and one on the rear for qualifying. We'll see how that goes. Tomorrow's practice, that's when we'll be able to simulate (Saturday night) track conditions. When our car was at its best in the month of May was from about 8:30 p.m. and later. When didn't have much speed during the day, even in practices we didn't show the speed. What was exciting was when they were getting into the final segments of the All-Star race our car woke up and that's about 10:00 p.m. The package that we have just seems to run better the cooler it gets."
WHAT CLICKED FOR YOU AT THIS TRACK THE LAST 18 MONTHS? "It's been Steve Addington. It's been his addition, his setup. It's just the feel and the confidence that he's given me when he started making changes on the car. It taught me things that I didn't even know about Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's been a whole different game since I've had him."
-source: dodge motorsports