Fontana II: Pole winner interview

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) NOTE: Busch's pole Friday broke a three-way tie with Kasey Kahne and Jeff Burton for most poles this season. Busch has won two straight and five total poles in 2006. CAN YOU PLAN ADJUSTMENTS DURING...

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)

NOTE: Busch's pole Friday broke a three-way tie with Kasey Kahne and Jeff Burton for most poles this season. Busch has won two straight and five total poles in 2006.

CAN YOU PLAN ADJUSTMENTS DURING THE RACE?

"I think that's what makes good, championship teams and cars that go to victory lane have the ability to adjust throughout the race. Having a left rear spring that might be heavy in the beginning filled with rubbers and just take rubbers out as the night progresses. When you have less left rear spring it helps you turn. With the speeds during the daytime and the track being hot and slick you still have to have the bite to stick to the racetrack. That's one way to do it. That's the easiest way. Then there's the track bar that you can adjust. You can adjust air pressure. You hope your car has the adjustability to go both ways in case your car is off at the beginning of the race, you've got to still be able to tighten it up if you're too loose in the beginning. That's usually when you have a good car, when it's neutral in the beginning and you've planned to go either way."

WHAT WERE YOUR CHALLENGES LEADING UP TO THE CHASE?

"What we've put behind us is the challenge of trying to jump in as a first-year team and learn crew chief to driver relationship as well as past setups and history and what they've done for other drivers is a little different than what Kurt Busch needed. We've gone to a bunch of tracks for a second time, road courses, Daytona, to Bristol twice and it seems like more and more tracks we go to the second time around we're either able to pinpoint it quick or we have a notebook we can sit down and look at. For us now we want to try some off the wall setups because recently we have been more conservative with what we knew. What we knew wasn't quite enough to make The Chase. Now with 12 races to go it's an opportunity to try some off the wall things, learn, make mistakes and not have consequences. Just trying to get the car back in victory lane is the ultimate goal in these next 12 races."

HAS WORKING FOR PENSKE BEEN EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE?

"Absolutely. Roger is a great guy. Every time I speak with him or sit down at his office or see him at the racetrack there are words of wisdom. It's different than where I was in the past per se. Roger has this driver background. He has this open wheel background. He has the background of doing things first class, and it's really a pleasure working for him. Each and every time I get to do something for him, get a win or sit on a pole or just get one of those solid top 10 finishes, I feel pleased to be able to do that for Roger. Our win at Watkins Glen in the Grand National car was No. 275 all-time. It hit me really hard that I'm adding to Roger's stats in the win column and pole column. It feels really neat to be able to do that for The Captain."

"It was really a matter of finding the right adjustments to make with the hot temperatures today. I think our pole speed from today was about six tenths slower than February. It was hard to find the right adjustment to make. You just mainly compromised the grip level of the front tires versus the rear tires. The balance turned out to be a good pole-sitting car. I'm real happy with the adjustments we made. We didn't think we had a shot at the pole, but past experience is starting to blend in my time I've spent with Penske Racing. They're notorious for qualify, and so far success on Friday has been pretty good for us."

HOW DIFFERENT WILL CONDITIONS BE ON SUNDAY?

"The few times we've been here it was nice and cool the first year. Last year it was very warm and the track changed quite a bit from the daytime to the evening. It's not as big a change as it is at Charlotte and a couple of other tracks. California is always warm. The track keeps its temperature at night and it's a nice transition when the temperatures do cool off. A lot of other tracks are more abrupt. It's the same game plan where you have to have a car that will turn on the bottom of the racetrack and then go up high and dart around other cars. The racetrack has come into its own here in California, multiple grooves, quite a bit of speed, but then it has its old short track characteristic where you've got to get the thing turned right in the middle of the corner."

"We tried a little something different this time, and we're good on Friday. We just need to get a little better on Sunday. The Penske/Jasper power down the straightaways is what I needed today. It was a really good run today, and the car was really good back here in the spring. I put a blindfold on sometimes and go out there and I hit a good lap. We go when we have the opportunity to go and right now that's been on Fridays. We've been real solid with the power and setups underneath me. We need to make 'em last for more than a lap. Having that comfort underneath me in qualifying is great, but we need that for every lap in the race."

-credit: dodge

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kurt Busch , Kasey Kahne
Teams Team Penske