KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Race Winner CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR WEEKEND? - "It was a good weekend for us working through our new test data that we put together from Milwaukee (test) this week. We came with a different package...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) Race Winner
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR WEEKEND? - "It was a good weekend for us working through our new test data that we put together from Milwaukee (test) this week. We came with a different package and felt that we were a bit more competitive. I made a joke in practice that we passed somebody (laughter). It's been a long year trying to get Penske Racing back to form. We started off with a bang at Daytona. We feel like we have all the right people. I love Pat Tryson (Crew Chief) and all the crew guys right underneath him. I like all the guys back at the shop. We just can't quite put our finger on what we need.
"So today was a good car for what we've been normally, and that put us in position to stretch our fuel a little bit. When we could make it to the end, we pitted. We needed a few laps to help us. But we were gonna be loaded for bear and ready to rock n' roll if it came down to the end. When everybody pitted with, I don't know, 30 laps to go, when I was told, you're in the lead, there's 26 laps to go, that's the most motivation a driver could ever ask for because you want to hold it off and bring it home for your team. So we were gonna have our work cut out for us. I felt we could have held off some the guys right behind us, and pit strategy worked out perfect. It's all credit to Pat Tryson."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE STRATEGY TO PIT EARLY LATE IN THE RACE? "The last couple times here fuel strategy has been fairly important and track position is important. So we only give up a little bit of track position at that time, put us within a couple laps of making it to the end. We just needed one caution. Fortunately we got that caution. Then obviously we got another caution. Everybody else came down pit road, left us up there. The rain came sooner than we thought it would, but it all worked out."
DO YOU BELIEVE IN RACING LUCK AND DO YOU DO ANYTHING TO CHANGE YOUR LUCK? -"You know, I learned early on, before I even really made it up to the Cup level, that luck is definitely a player in racing. I think Richard Childress defined luck the best. He says, 'When preparation meets opportunity, that's luck.' And we were prepared today, and the opportunity presented itself to pit when we did. You have to have a fast enough car, a prepared car. So things came into play for us. A lot of cautions have been falling for guys like that this year. My little brother had a fast racecar last weekend and won at the road course. I didn't see him all day, though. And he pops up right when he needs to. It's something that's always been in the game. You've got to have strategy. You have to have a fast car. Where we are in points, we've got our backs up against the wall. So we gambled a little bit and it paid off."
WHAT DO YOU CREDIT THIS WIN TO? PIT STRATEGY? MILWAUKEE TEST? OR A LITTLE OF BOTH? -- "You know, as hard as we're working, you can't just point to one thing and say that's what helped us get to Victory Lane. Fuel mileage has been a big issue. We still need to work on that. We need to get our cars handling better. And we're working. We're working hard. We're testing all the time. Ask my wife. Ask the crew members. You know, we're on the gas trying to get our 2, 12 and 77 teams up, running competitive every week. So it's hard to put your finger on one thing. We'll definitely think about what Milwaukee gave us, our fuel mileage, and just the heart of this team. It's not due to lack of effort that we're not up front, because we're putting a full effort forward trying to find what it is. I like the people.
I like the program. Pat Tryson is an awesome crew chief and team leader. I just wish there was one thing we could put our finger on to do better, but we're going to keep working."
DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE HELD MICHAEL WALTRIP OFF AT THE END OF THE RACE? -- "Yeah, I felt like it was going to be a great duel down to the end with everybody on old tires. Everybody would have been slipping and sliding. I think he's exactly right, that this was more fuel strategy to get to lap 301 than it was with the rain. So the rain aided us, but yet I felt like we had track position. I felt like my fire and desire was going to overcome anything today to get into Victory Lane. Once I saw that we were leading and we were out in front with 26 to go, that good old Kurt Busch jumped up on the wheel. I told myself, 'Don't let your team down. This is what you live for, this is what you race for, and that is to go to Victory Lane.' I'm happy to bring it home for Miller Lite and Dodge today."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR PIT STRATEGY LATE IN THE RACE? -- "We wanted to pit as soon as we could because we couldn't make it on fuel. We were one of the front cars that pitted and so when you jump in that bed, you have to lay in it. And where we are in points, you need to take a little bit of a gamble. Pat (Tryson) made a great call and we were able to get our Dodge in Victory Lane."
PAT TRYSON (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CAR TODAY? -"We had a pretty good car all day. We topped off the fuel and were pretty close to making it to the end. We were hoping for some cautions, we got them, and I told Kurt (Busch) that we were going to stay on the race track and take a gamble. Today it worked and it got us a win."
DOES IT REALLY MATTER HOW YOU WIN SOMETHING OR THE WEATHER? -- "Well, we were watching the weather a little bit. But our strategy was to make it to the end. I think some of the other guys were counting on the rain getting here earlier than it did. We were counting on it holding off. It means the world to us. Like I said, we've struggled a little bit this year. It hasn't been as much fun as it was last year obviously. But hopefully this will give us some momentum and put some more fun back in it. Hopefully, we can score some more wins and still make it in the Chase."
HOW MUCH DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE THREAT OF RAIN? -- "We saw it was coming. Those things (radar) give you a rough idea, but you never know exactly when it was gonna get there. At that point we were watching it more than we were anything. To be honest, we were rooting for it not to rain because we had the fuel mileage to make it to the end and other guys were going to have to pit. We weren't really counting on the rain. It just kind of worked out that they all pitted there and it rained. You know, could have went the other way, too."
ELLIOTT SADLER (No. 19 Best Buy/Hartford Dodge) Finished 5th
"To get a top five, it makes up for what happened to us at Sonoma because my team definitely deserved a top five there. We played the pit strategy game today and if it continues to rain, we'll look like heroes. I'm proud of my guys; they didn't give up. We made the car really bad and got a lap down and then we made some good adjustments, got the lucky dog and were driving back up through the pack. I'm proud of my guys. They worked hard today."
REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) Finished 6th
"We struggled with rear grip all day in our Target Dodge. Once the clouds came in, the car reacted positive and really started to run good. We just didn't have a good car in the sun. We have to figure out how to make it better. But overall, it was good for us in the point standings and we'll take a top-10 finish."
DONNIE WINGO (Crew Chief, No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)
"We were pretty good at the start until the sun came out and then the car was sliding badly. Every time we tried to fix that, it would be too tight. We chased it all day long. We were close (on fuel), so we decided what the heck, the rain was close so we decided to stay out and see what happened. We needed a day like this, not just for this team, but the whole organization. Practice was really good. We're still lacking a little bit. Hopefully, we've made some gains on it this week."
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Charger) Finished 10th
"We didn't get the job done today. I don't know the reason. We just didn't get it done."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (No. 10 Berlin City Auto Group Dodge Charger) Finished 31st
"We just lost the brakes. We were running really well. I was really happy. We had really good power. The pedal went soft and that was it. Most of the race, we had no brakes. At the end, it (pedal) was all the way to the floor, just bouncing up a little bit. I was lifting before start-finish and coasting. It's too bad."
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 43 Texaco/Havoline Dodge Charger) Finished 32nd
WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND KYLE BUSCH? "On the restart, I got around the outside of him in Turn 2 and he just went wide like I wasn't even there. Then we touched each other and got beside him to the next corner and he starts banging on me, like he was trying to wreck me. I said, 'OK'. I went into the corner and the wrecked happen, slowed down, and tried to say, 'What are you doing,' the next thing that I started to see was that he was hitting me. He runs good? Yeah. He has great cars? Yeah. I thought we had a decent car today and I don't appreciate when people race me like that."
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 Alltel Dodge Charger) Finished 15th
"It was a tough call on pit strategy at the end. We couldn't have made it on fuel to the end of the race (301 laps scheduled), so we pitted. It's a tough way for our day to end since we were running in the top 10."
-credit: dodge motorsports