BUSCH WINS AT LOUDON * Kurt Busch registered his 10th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory this afternoon, becoming only the 17th driver in Ford Racing history to reach double digits. Ned Jarrett is the manufacturer's all-time leader with 43...
BUSCH WINS AT LOUDON
* Kurt Busch registered his 10th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory this afternoon, becoming only the 17th driver in Ford Racing history to reach double digits. Ned Jarrett is the manufacturer's all-time leader with 43 wins.
* New Hampshire International Speedway becomes the seventh different track Busch has won on in his NNC career. Bristol is the only track in which he has posted multiple wins (4).
* The win was Busch's second of 2004 (Bristol) and sixth for Ford. He joined Matt Kenseth as two-time winners this season while Mark Martin (Dover) and Elliott Sadler (Texas) have one victory apiece.
* Busch's victory also marked the 80th points race win for Taurus since it became Ford's flagship model in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 1998.
* Ford has now won six times in 2004, which is second behind Chevrolet's 11.
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 39th)
"That was kind of a crazy accident really. We came up on two cars that were running side-by-side that were considerably slower than the pace was. I'm surprised NASCAR didn't black them because they were having trouble keeping up. Anyway, we came up on them and Mark was right behind me, and I guess we caught everybody so quick that when I hit the brakes Mark drove right in the back of me. It wasn't intentional on his part and I hope he didn't get his car tore up too badly, but it was just bad timing."
THE SAFER BARRIER SOFTENED THAT BLOW? "I would hate to think that was concrete because it hit a ton. I was braced for it and knew it was gonna be a hard hit and it was a hard hit. Evidently, they must be working."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 35th)
YOU HIT PRETTY HARD. "Yeah, I did. They just didn't clean the oil up on the race track good enough and I got high going in the corner. I actually did it two laps in a row. I was stupid enough to do it the second time, but it's just the way it goes. It's just unfortunate. We had a pretty decent car. We're gaining on it, but we're still not where we need to be."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Finished 4th)
"It was good, but we just weren't that good on restarts. On long runs we were reasonable, but we didn't have anything for those front couple of cars. We were a third, fourth or fifth-place car and we finished fourth, so overall it's a good day."
THE CAUTIONS HURT YOU. "You can't pass very good here, so it's an advantage to be up front. The tires don't drop off much, so you just stay out as long as you can and try to get track position."
IT WASN'T THE NEW GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED RULE, BUT IT WAS JUST ABOUT THAT. YOU HAD A GOOD BATTLE WITH TONY STEWART. "It was good. To race with Tony is great. There are certain guys that might take advantage, but Tony is not going to do that. He raced me hard and he was better than I was on restarts. On long runs I could get him back, so it turned out OK. It was hairy though because my car wouldn't go anywhere on restarts and this is a tough place for that, but at most tracks it will be OK."
HOW WAS YOUR RUN? "We had a great run. The Smirnoff Ice guys did a great job. We had great pit stops when we needed them and had track position, but we didn't have the car that Kurt did. Congratulations to those guys because they had the field covered all day."
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Finished 9th)
"The 9 car was trying to catch me there and I just got a run and touched him (Rusty Wallace). I hate it, but that's part of it."
YOU HAVE GOOD MOMENTUM TRYING TO GET IN THE TOP 10. "Yeah, but we've got to have seven more good races. If we can have them all in the top 10, then there's a possibility that we'll get in there, but we can't have any hiccups from this point on. It may take some misfortune from some other guys. If they have that, then we have to be there to capitalize on it. I like what we're doing. We're going to Watkins Glen tomorrow for what I hope is a good test and that will be an important race for us. I'm looking forward to going back to Pocono next week. We had a great car there the first time and we're taking the same car back and maybe we can get back to victory lane."
THE DEAL WITH RUSTY. WILL YOU APOLOGIZE? "Yeah. I'll go and tell him I'm sorry. That doesn't do any good because I've been on that end of it, but I wasn't trying to get into him. I wasn't concerned about making a pass on him as much as I was concerned about just running and trying to stay in front of the 9. I don't know if I just got aggressive or if he didn't get in the gas, but, anyway, I touched him. That wasn't what I wanted to do, but, unfortunately, it happened."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus - VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
"It's great to come up here and race in New England. I actually spent two weeks up here. We had a weekend off and I raced at the Oxford 250 over in Maine. It's been a wonderful trip and they have wonderful fans up here in New England. It feels good to get the Irwin Industrial Tools car to victory lane."
YOU'VE HAD SOME BAD LUCK OF LATE, BUT YOU MOVED UP TO SIXTH IN POINTS. "This is where it all begins when we come back here in September. All the fans should get excited and geared up for that because it's gonna be just that. I thought that we had to apply pressure this week and start our 10 races to go now even though there are still this many races left. We've got our work cut out for us."
YOU STARTED 32ND. HOW DID YOU GET TO THE FRONT? "It was just a great car that would run on long runs. It didn't qualify well. It didn't qualify well at Richmond its other time out, so you just have to watch for this Irwin Industrial Tools car to come from the back each time. We haven't figured out why it doesn't qualify, but we know why it's running well up front."
THE CAUTION WITH 10 TO GO. HOW NERVOUS WERE YOU WITH JEFF GORDON BEHIND YOU? "He's been the guy to beat and if you want to win a race, you've got to beat Jeff Gordon nowadays. He's been strong on big tracks and little tracks alike. It's great to be able to challenge him and to have this good of a car and the crew gave me this opportunity today."
JEFF BURTON - No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus (Finished 12th)
"That's the worst we've run in the last month. We got pretty good during the middle of the race. On long runs we were pretty competitive, but on short runs we were no good. We got up to about ninth, but gave up four spots after all of those restarts. We just couldn't go at the start. Mark had the same trouble and we just kept backing up. It's not terrible and it's not great."
DID THE TRACK CHANGE FROM SATURDAY TO SUNDAY? "It didn't change all that much, really. At the start I thought it was pretty slippery and slimy, but after that I thought it was pretty much the same."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 14th)
AFTER QUALIFYING YOU DIDN'T SOUND THAT OPTIMISTIC, BUT THIS WAS A PRETTY GOOD DAY. "That was a special job by Pat Tryson and this race team. The Viagra team is an incredible race team. I knew that if they did an incredible job they could get us an eighth to a 15th-place finish and they did that. If there weren't so many cautions at the end, we could have run up about eighth, but I also knew that if things didn't go our way, we could run 25th to 27th. It was a smart job and great work by the team. The car wasn't what we were looking for but we'll have one next week."
ALL OF THE CAUTIONS HURT YOU. "My car wouldn't take off after the cautions. It was real good on hot tires. It was a sixth to 10th place car on hot tires, but it was a twenty-something-place car on cold tires. That's why it was always slow in qualifying and in practice because you only get a five-lap run in practice. At lap five it would stabilize and at lap 20 I'd run off and leave all the guys that were eating me up. It was a good job by the team."