Kurt Busch Phoenix II Friday media visit

Dodge Motorsports press release

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

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

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

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON VETERANS DAY? “It’s an important holiday to reflect on what our military has done. Being involved with the PVA this year and the Armed Forces Foundation, it’s been great to see their action in work, whether it’s been pace car rides at Daytona that I’ve done or taking these guys around the race track here in the garage area. Just getting them to the track and getting their minds off of some of the history that they have with post traumatic syndrome disorder, or some of the guys that have some amputated arms and legs. Just getting ‘em into the NASCAR experience is exciting for me to give back to some of our military that are active or even visiting some of the VA hospitals like I’ve done this summer, just to see some of our old veterans, guys like from the Korean War or Vietnam, guys that think they’ve been forgotten about, it’s nice to reflect back with them.”

HOW WAS PRACTICE? “Track is getting better. It’s taking in rubber, widening out the groove a little bit and I’m real excited to watch the Nationwide race just to see how the race plays out.”

HOW DIFFERENT IS IT OUT THERE? “We’ll see what happens. Right now you’re on edge because you’re trying to continue to advance but the track, it’s going to continue to get better so you have to adjust to the track’s changing conditions. It’s just a lot better this time around being 75 degrees instead of 115.”

DO YOU THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO GO AHEAD AND REPAVE IT NOW INSTEAD OF WAITING UNTIL AFTER THE SEASON? “Well, they can’t wait until after the season because we race here the first of March, not enough time to do it. We’re going to see the same thing with Kansas Speedway next summer.”

DID THE ATTEMPTS TO PUT DOWN RUBBER ON THE TRACK WORK AT ALL? “The track gave us a lot more confidence this time around. Being one of the guys to do the original tire test, it’s so tough because there was just one little patch on the race track where we were running because everything else was very dusty, dirty with the oil coming up and made it real slick. This time around, very forgiving and it’s going to have a good look to it at least.”

SOME DRIVERS SAID THE TRACK WAS A LITTLE BIT SLICK YESTERDAY. “On a repaved track, they are just very unforgiving. Once you’re out of the groove, you lose over a second and then you go back into the groove and you get your times back down.”

YOUR BROTHER HAD A ROUGH WEEK LAST WEEK. DID YOU HAVE ANY CONVERSATIONS THIS WEEK? “Yeah, it’s been a tough week for him. He’s my brother, you know. I love him and I know he regrets what happened last week. It’s his circumstance, it’s his issues and I’m glad that Coach Gibbs is happy to work through all of that.”

DID YOU GIVE HIM ANY ADVICE? “Plenty of advice, oh yeah.”

THIS IS THE FIRST SEASON USING THE NEW POINTS SYSTEM. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THAT? “I think if you look back on the old system versus the new, you’d have every guy in the top 12 almost in the same position.”

HOW DO YOU GET A CAR TO GO FAST AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY? “That track, it’s tough to get the car to settle into the corner. If you get comfortable driving down in, it just makes the whole corner a lot easier. But running that top groove seems to be key at Homestead.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MONDAY’S TRIP? “Monday will be neat to go out to visit Shell’s distribution guys as far as the upstream side of how you get oil out of the bottom of the ocean to what we put into our cars at the gas station. So you have the upstream side, you have the downstream side, and it’s really neat to be part of Shell’s master programming. They’re going out to visit what some of the groups do as contractors for the Shell Oil Company. So I’m real excited about Monday. It’s an hour-and-a-half chopper ride over open water and to see the guys out on the rig. It’ll be interesting to see how they work and live out on that rig.”

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST IN THE OFF-SEASON? “Just to relax and to get away. It’s a long, grueling season and there’s always photo shoots, testing, media opportunities. It’s just nice to get away from it all for a few weeks.”

WHICH NON-CHASER MIGHT BE ONE TO WATCH NEXT SEASON? “(Greg) Biffle has always been a guy that I think is a Chaser every year and since he didn’t make it this year, that answers your question.”

IN ADDITION TO THE TRACK REPAVE, THE PIT LANE HERE HAS BEEN RESURFACED AS WELL. HOW MUCH A DIFFERENCE IS THAT GOING TO MAKE THIS RACE? “It should be much more consistent for us. We’ll have those concrete boxes to get in and out of. You just have to be real careful not to break the rear gear with a lot of traction on that pit box.”

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags avondale, busch, dodge, penske