KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT DOVER THIS WEEKEND? "It's always a tough concrete race track...this one-mile Monster Mile can jump up and bite you pretty quick. That's always in the back of your mind. (It's) a...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT DOVER THIS WEEKEND? "It's always a tough concrete race track...this one-mile Monster Mile can jump up and bite you pretty quick. That's always in the back of your mind. (It's) a real fun race to race in and to be part of. You choose the low lane, you can choose to go up high, there's always a little bit of strategy that gets sprinkled in. We're hoping for a real solid run with our Miller Lite Dodge. We've been competitive here at times, struggled here at times, but right now with the setups that we have we're excited about our upcoming chances. We finished fifth here in June. We're pretty stoked for this weekend and we'll try to get off to another good run in the second race in the Chase."
IS THIS A PIVOTAL RACE IN THE CHASE? "It's the second race in the Chase and one of the keys to winning the championship in the Chase format is getting off to a strong start. This being the second race, it's obviously important to get out there and run strong and get those bonus points if you have a chance to do so which is to lead a lap or lead the most laps. Of course getting a nice solid finish is obviously the ultimate goal. To be running recently and to have a nice solid run like we did back here in June, we feel that our chances are great this weekend."
HAS THIS SEASON BEEN MORE QUIET THAN USUAL BECAUSE OF THE IMAPACT OF THE CHASE AND HOW IMPORTANT POINTS ARE? "It really seems like business as usual, whether it's different guys battling it out for the same spots on the track...we're still seeing that. The tempers are still flaring inside the cars when you're out there on the track. Whether you choose to carry it in the garage area afterwards or on to the next race weekend, everybody definitely has to think about things a bit more thoroughly because of the ramifications that come up if you are stepping out of the box. So, everybody's out there throwing their all at it trying to get those wins and be there at the end to get the sponsors the most positive exposure that you can."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THIS WEEK HAS GONE WITH PAT (TRYSON)? "Things have gone real smooth; it may have gone even better than normal. With him at the shop on Tuesday, there's a structured set of meetings....Jeff Thousand, our car chief, (he met with), the different groups of people and their respective duties. There seems to be a bit more attention to detail and that was exciting because that's what we have to do the next nine weeks, continue to communicate at higher levels and be that much more in-depth with all the different departments that make a race team successful."
IS ALL THE TALK THAT YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD FOR 10 WEEKS DURING THE CHASE ALL OVER-HYPED? "It changes because if you have a couple of DNF's, you're going to have to have two to three wins to erase the DNF's as far as points go. So, when you really think about it, if you win one week and DNF the next week, that averages out to about a 20th-place finish, that's not so good. What you need is nice, consistent runs that keep your average finish on the low side towards seven, eight, nine, those are what I look for as far as how you run through these 10 weeks. If you're going to have some bad races, you going to have to have wins to make those go away."
HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO WIN THIS CHAMPIONSHIP FOR ROGER PENSKE? "Obviously, winning a championship is the optimum goal and that's what we set out to do every year. To try and bring a championship home to Penske Racing on the NASCAR side would be very special. For me, it would be my second championship, but I think that it would mean that much more for Roger to win his first and that's what we're setting out to do. We find ourselves in a great position, of course, with the way that these last nine weeks can hopefully go for us. We have to continually strive to do our best, pull our resources together and just get it together that much stronger. It's obvious what I want to do and bring this home for the Captain."
WHY WERE THINGS SO SMOOTH WITH PAT THIS WEEK? WAS IT BECAUSE OF THE FOCUS ON THE CHASE? "It felt like there was just that one day where he was going to be at the shop, and so instead of it being strung out for days with little meetings here and there, it was one (meeting) right after the next. It was sharp, focused. It seemed like it was that much better in my mind because we know that we have to work that much harder and do things a little bit different now with the position that we've been put in and so it seemed exciting."
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE MENTALITY IN MAKING THE CHASE AND NOT MAKING THE CHASE? "If you're in it, you hope that a non-Chaser doesn't take you out. If you're not in it, you hope a non-Chaser doesn't take out one of the Chase guys. If you miss the Chase, it's a great opportunity to look ahead at the upcoming season and to get ahead of the game. Not necessarily throw away races; take your shot at winning the box, but try and utilize the last 10 races as a test session and try to advance your program for the upcoming season. That's what I think we were able to do a little bit last year, to go out there and race with completely different setups in the car and get more homework done. That way, we think that we hit the ground running stronger when we got to Daytona for 2009."
WERE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH NASCAR THROWING A DEBRIS CAUTION LATE IN THE RACE LAST WEEKEND IN THE NAME OF SAFETY? "There's cautions that come up in our sport that NASCAR see's the reason to throw those yellows and that's it, that's the end of it. Whether there was debris out there or not, we lost our handle on the Miller Lite Dodge and we were trying to limp home and finish second with the amount of laps that were left. But with yellow after yellow after yellow, we're going to have guys on top of us for double-file restarts and they swallowed us up. We ended up finishing sixth. That was the frustrating part of it...to have a solid run all day and then be off a little bit off after the last pit stop that took us from second to sixth. Then of course the yellow on the last lap of the race, it seemed like the right timing in my mind. I knew that the yellow might come out, but you want to race as far as you can around Turns 3 and 4 which is what NASCAR enabled us to do, and then out of safety, we need to have the yellow. What's ironic is why don't we race back to yellows? Do we have the Lucky Dog? Why are we in the position that we're in because the same race track, same circumstance, same everything, there was a wreck off of Turn 4 coming to the start-finish line. It seemed ironic that's where it came up."
WHO DO YOU THINK THE NON-CHASE CONTENDERS WILL BE THAT WINS A RACE DURING THE CHASE? "You're not going to see any of the non-Chase winners win races because they're not running well enough to get themselves in position to do so. But obviously this year with Kyle missing the Chase...he's got four wins already...had a top-five last week...he's your best shot for a non-Chase winner to win."
HOW DO YOU THINK THE DOUBLE-FILE RESTARTS ARE GOING TO GO HERE ON SUNDAY? "It will be interesting to see how the double-file restarts will shake out this week. Is the inside lane better? Is the outside lane better? You don't get to choose unless you're the leader. You're stuck on the inside or the outside and you have to make the best of it. Every race from here on out, we're going to have double-file restarts at track that we didn't have double-file restarts on earlier this year. So, it's just not this week, it's nine more weeks of continued questions around restarts and it makes it just that much more exciting. You have to be on your toes. Sometimes you want the low lane and you have to start up high. Sometimes you want the high lane; you have to start out down low. At the end of the day, you're just looking for a 50-50 as far as restarts goes when you have a chance to be in the lane that you want to be in."
COULD YOU EVER SEE A SITUATION, ANTICIPATING A CAUTION THAT YOU MIGHT GIVE UP A POSITION OR NOT PASS SOMEBODY IN ORDER TO GET THE PROPER LANE? "I don't think that you'll see that happen. It crosses your mind, but when you have a yellow pop out, you're running fifth on the track and you hit pit road, it's easier to gain or lose spots on pit road than it is to yield a spot out on the race track. Really, you're at the mercy of your pit crew and what they're going to do on which lane you're gonna get."
-credit: dodge motorsports