KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T)
TALK ABOUT RACING IN TALLADEGA? “We’re definitely pumped up with what we did at Daytona earlier this year. We have the same car that we won the (Budweiser) Shootout with. Just this two-car style of draft, we feel like we’ve done an excellent job of improving our car, making sure that we get the best benefit that we can out of this two-car draft. It really gets down to survival. You have to position yourself well and not get caught up in any of the wrecks that could come about. (You have to) position yourself well at the end of the race. We feel like we have a good game plan. I’m really trying to break through and get a points-paying restrictor plate win. I’ve been trying for 10, 11 years now. We’ve been close many times and I’m ready to trade in any of the speed that we have in the car for luck. I think sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good.”
TALK ABOUT THE VISION PROBLEMS YOU HAVE WHILE IN THE TWO-CAR DRAFT? HOW WILL IT PLAY OUT HERE AT TALLADEGA VERSUS DAYTONA? “I think that it will be more difficult here because we’re going to have that many more lanes of traffic. When you’re pushing and you can’t see what’s in front of you. There’s now going to be five lanes of choices and you don’t know if you’re going to shoot for the middle hole or two-thirds of the way up or two-fifths of the way up. With five lanes to choose from, you really have to trust the guy in front of you to guide you through the different holes and not close in too quickly and make an abrupt move.”
AFTER DAYTONA, YOU SAID THAT YOU WERE AGAINST DRIVERS COMMUNICATING WITH EACH OTHER? DO YOU STILL FEEL THE SAME? “I feel like we had a pretty good Speedweeks with the plan that we had in place. I’ve got a great spotter – Chris Osborne – up on top of the tower. He gives me the set of eyes that I need to see everything around me. The way that my crew chief communicates to others on pit road on when we need to pit or whom we’re going to team up with, Steve Addington does a great job there as well. We’re going to stick to our game plan. I don’t know what others are going to do. Should we be on others radio? It’s everybody’s opinion. We’re going to stick with our game plan.
“I feel like the teams that we should be communicating with are right there in Penske Racing and that’s who we need to communicate with. Then you have opportunities to team up with others off one yellow (flag) and then you’re lined up next to others (on the next yellow) and you never know who it’s going to be. We just want to keep our game plan the same and that’s to use commitments that you have made already and not try and get too wrapped up in driving someone else’s car from their radio.”
It’s a challenge to know who’s got the speed and who you want to team up with.
CAN YOU CLARIFY IF YOU CAN COMMUNICATE WITH BRAD AND HIS SPOTTER DURING A RACE? “Yes. We have their frequency of our radio. If we need to jump over them or they need to jump over to us, we can communicate in that fashion. The way that we like to do it is communicate without saying a word, make it happen, figure things out on the race track. It’s how we do it every other race and that’s to make sure that both Penske cars have the best finish that we can. You do that by working together and having respect for each other out on the race track.”
TALK ABOUT THE MENTAL CHALLENGE OF RACING AT TALLADEGA? “It’s a challenge to know who’s got the speed and who you want to team up with. When you’re the lead car or the pushing car, there are different responsibilities that come up. And then there are green-flag pits stops where you don’t want to slide any of the tires because you’re most likely just putting fuel in the car. It’s just a different race. There’s not much of the physical demand here. The game is how well you can draft and how well you’ve partnered with your friends out on the track. At the same time, you’re still running cautious trying to make sure to stay out of a wreck that shows up.”
-source: dodge motorsports