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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

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

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW THE RACE ON SUNDAY WILL PLAY OUT? “I never thought that I’d say this, but I’m rooting for Tony Stewart. It’s cool to see two guys who have worked to get to this point. They deserve it. Us as Chasers, we need to recognize that they’ve done that great job and other racers out there need to give them their space. They deserve it and are in position to win.”

WHAT A MEMORABLE MOMENT FOR YOU STICKS OUT FROM THIS SEASON? “Winning at Sonoma for me was a brilliant weekend for us. To hone your skills on a road course and finally get a victory is really satisfying for me and the team. It was the first real victory for Shell and Pennzoil. We won at Daytona in the Shootout and Duels, but to win at Sonoma and give people a chance to get 22 cents off a gallon of fuel, that was a big moment.”

CAN YOU SUM UP THE SEASON IN ONE WORD? A PHRASE? “A new beginning for us. With Shell/Pennzoil and Dodge, it was great to have a new sponsor come aboard like they did.”

HOW WAS YOUR TRIP TO THE OIL RIG THIS WEEK? “The trip was an unbelievable experience. With the technology and the manpower – the human element of designing something such as that and to see it work and how it plays out. Obviously, the steps that Shell takes with safety, the individuals that are there and the pride that they take in producing oil and natural gas for Shell was an amazing experience. They have independent contractors that come out there and help them. They have the employees that work out on the rig that are there working 14 days, then off 14 days. I assumed that most of them lived in Louisiana or New Orleans. Two guys that I talked to, one guy lives in Vegas and the other in Tucson. They fly back (home) and have ordinary lives and then fly back and work to weeks at a time.”

WHAT WAS THE MORNING LIKE THE YEAR THAT YOU WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP? “It was a unique week. The week started with the team owner saying that we had to prepare like we’re going to lose. That was his big speech to everyone on Tuesday. I was like, ‘Really? This that moment of time and our owner is telling us that we need to prepare to lose.’ I was really confused. When I got here to the track, Friday and Saturday was a blur. We ended up sitting on the pole. The whole feeling of how happened so fast and then the race itself felt like it was thousands of miles (long). Every lap was so intense that the fatigue factor at the end of the day settled in. It’s hard to put into words of what it was. To be in position to win a championship, that ‘s what we all live for and I was glad to bring it on home my first time having that shot at it.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS BEHIND JACK’S COMMENTS? “Jack loves war movies and airplanes. You have to be prepared be shot down if you’re going into battle. I’m not sure what it meant. A lot of guys were somewhat confused after his speech.”