Daytona II: Kurt Busch post race interview

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) - 3rd "I'm real proud of this team and real proud of this year. It feels good to come to a plate track and do welll. We definitely came back strong to Daytona, looking for a good finish after the ...

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) - 3rd

"I'm real proud of this team and real proud of this year. It feels good to come to a plate track and do welll. We definitely came back strong to Daytona, looking for a good finish after the Daytona 500 didn't turn out like we wanted. To build a car five months in advance with more downforce, we felt like that was the way to go. We were really strong on the long runs, and that played true a lot percentage of the time. Long runs were minimal tonight with yellows early and yellows late. Everybody was real strong at the end. We expected everybody to be out there three wide and never lifting. That's what's so exciting at these plate tracks. For me to finish third, it feels great to do that. It would have been great to win it, but we're real happy with that. To be able to be in position at the end and to be able to try to push Kyle to victory lane. I had my foot through the floorboard and I had Jeff Gordon behind me. I thought we could hook up and go. I just didn't quite have the run the 26 did. The 26 car has shown strength at these tracks. He just hasn't shown patience. Tonight it turned out in his favor with a short run at the end."

"I look two or three cars ahead and see who has momentum and who is doing a side draft off one another and how close are they nose to nail. I looked at Casey Mears to see if he had tires, so you could almost disregard him. You can't go places other cars can. You see Roush cars out there that I know that I don't want to work with and I see Hendrick cars out there that I know are fast. Then I had a teammate behind me, Ryan Newman. He saved me one time. I got a little tight and he checked up so I could get back in line. I did the same thing for Kyle a few times. He was a little loose, and I got off the gas, gathered back up and you do down the next straightaway and see who's sliding in the next corner. I don't know how to explain it. I just play defensive. I just find a hole and I go there and I don't try to get too aggressive with my moves.

"There was a yellow with about 40-45 laps to go. We stayed out at that point and that's what we needed to win the race, a long green-flag run. Kyle and I traded positions back and forth. It was almost to weather the storm for awhile."

"Everybody is pretty good on tires for 10 15, 20 laps. After 20 laps it begins to string out and that's what I was hoping for. With the yellows popping out like they did, we had 18 to go and we had to come in and take four. We did the best job we could on pit road and beat everybody out that took four tires. We just had one guy stay out in front of us and then a few guys took two tires. The 07 took, the 9 was in the mix, when you're that far back everyone is in the mix and they've got fresh tires and they've got good power.

"I love the chance we have to work together. Pat Tryson is an experienced crew chief but I enjoy working with him. He's confident in his pit calls. This was the first car he got his hands on. Our Sonoma car and Loudon car had already been built and setup and put on the trailer. This one here he was able to put some ideas into. We'll be able to go to the wind tunnel with our Chicago car this week and double check where we are. It's going to begin to roll. I'm happy about that. I can't express my thanks about him being able to come over to this team. I think we can put a good think together. We're excited to have him. I think he's excited to be here and Miller Lite wants us to do better. This was a good sign of that.

At the end of a restictor-plate race you don't have any teammates. Everybody seems to be gunning for themselves. There are times as a driver when you realize you can't win. Maybe I should stay tucked in line and help a teammate. In Hendrick's case there are so many fast cars out there. I was in a position with Roush where we didn't seem to have the speed with restrictor-plate cars. Maybe there would be one like a Kenseth. For Kyle the advice I'd have is you're out there working as an individual, that Hendrick is fielding your cars and there's not much you can do to help the other guys. So therefore you shouldn't expect much help from the other guys."

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears