Kurt Busch Charlotte 500 Thursday media visit

Dodge Motorsports press release

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ultra Dodge Charger R/T)

HOW DID PRACTICE GO TODAY? “Practice was good. We were in race trim quite a bit and then switched over to qualifying and man, the speeds are intense today. Everybody is bad fast.”

Kurt Busch, Penske Racing Dodge
Kurt Busch, Penske Racing Dodge

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

TWO WEEKS AGO YOU SAID THIS WAS GOING TO BE A BIG RACE FOR YOU. DO YOU STILL FEEL THAT WAY? “Yeah this is a point where you’ve got to be close in the Chase. It’s the halfway point and you hope you leave here within 10 points of the lead.”

JEFF GORDON SAID EARLIER TODAY THAT HE THOUGHT THERE WERE ONLY TWO OR THREE TEAMS SHOWING THAT THEY COULD COMPETE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT’S SHAPING UP AT THIS POINT IN THE CHASE? “It’s tough. Everybody’s been hot, cold, all around and nobody’s really shown that this is theirs. You’ve got the 48 (Jimmie Johnson), the 99 (Carl Edwards), the 29 (Kevin Harvick), the 24 (Jeff Gordon). We’re trying to hang on to that as well with the 14 (Tony Stewart).”

YOU’RE NOT THAT FAR OUT OF IT. IS THIS A ONE-RACE KIND OF THING OR WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE? “We just need to get a good, solid run here and Talladega, survive that one and we’ll talk after that.”

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT AT TALLADEGA WITH THE RULE CHANGES? “It’s hard to really know. Friday will really show us a lot.”

CHARLOTTE IS KNOWN FOR BEING A TEMPERATURE-SENSITIVE RACETRACK. IS IT MORE CONSISTENT AT THE FALL NIGHT RACE VERSUS THE 600 IN MAY? “Yeah definitely. This is usually the first time we can find the cool conditions here in Charlotte and the track really seems to give you the grip right away even though the sunshine is out.”

BUT YOU HAVE MORE SPEED SO THAT’S ANOTHER SET UP VARIABLES TO CONSIDER. “Yeah I mean you’re on that edge but yet you’re more comfortable with the track being more consistent here in the fall.”

DENNY HAMLIN SAID HE’S LOOKING AT WHAT THE 48 IS DOING AS SETTING THE BAR FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. “We’ve got to do our deal on the 22 car and what we need to do as a team to be strong is just continue what we are when we have those good days and that is to get the front end to settle properly, solid pit stops and race ‘em hard after that.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags busch, dodge, penske