KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- 2nd straight runner-up finish at Pocono; gained one spot to 13th in the standings, 166 points out of 10th with six races remaining to qualify for The Chase. Gained 40 points on 10th...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) -- 2nd straight runner-up finish at Pocono; gained one spot to 13th in the standings, 166 points out of 10th with six races remaining to qualify for The Chase. Gained 40 points on 10th place.
WERE YOU PUSHING THE CAR AS HARD AS YOU COULD?
"Overdriving the car when it counts is the most important thing. When you start to overdrive it you sacrifice a little bit of air pressure buildup. We built up a little bit too much air into the right front, just trying to push hard, trying to catch Denny. It was all we could do. We knew we were racing for second. We kept adjusting on the car all day to tweak it up or kick it in the rear to catch up to Denny. He had a great racecar and the rest of us were battling for second. If he wasn't a rookie we'd have two wins at Pocono this year and three in a row, but we can't talk about what we don't have. What we can talk about is a great effort today by our team."
TALK ABOUT THE LAST RUN
"We started with 16 to go and Gordon was in front of us. We worked underneath him in turn one after a couple of laps. It was just a matter of chasing him down. I chased him down a little bit overdriving it, but then I overheated the right front tire and we overheated it."
COMMENT ON EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES TODAY
"I didn't see what happened. I saw the 20 car held on pit road for a lap but don't know anything about the incident. I don't know what happened. I sit there and look out my windshield all day. I don't live in the world that's outside of it."
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE 400-MILE RACES HERE?
"They do a good job here putting on two events and to have them both 500-milers is a question mark from the drivers' aspect as well as the teams and crews and everybody that's involved. We've heard Matt Kenseth joke that he raced in the 24-hour race at Daytona once, but the longer race was Pocono."
DO YOU KEEP UP WITH THE POINTS DURING THE RACE?
"At the end of the day is when you look at who finished where. You have to put the blinders on and keep rolling. That's what we do. Each race is its own separate race. The way you have to focus intensely the next few races and not have mistakes is the key to making The Chase or being outside."
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE RACING FOR SECOND TODAY?
"Maybe I didn't mean to say it in that direction. For us we try to go win every race in the Miller Lite Dodge. When you've got a guy like Denny Hamlin that hits on it, your mind says 'all right, you've got a car that's pretty good, can you run for the lead?' We made a ton of adjustments.on the car to go after it really hard to see if we could pressure Denny, but we never made it up to him. My mind didn't really ever think we couldn't win the race until about seven laps to go. That's when our car got tight, and that's when Denny started to pull away from us and that's when I made the decision that we were a second-place car today. It's more to congratulate Denny Hamlin than anything. We did a great job with our team, solid pit stops and it's a nice solid finish for us. If we had won the race it would have been even better because it would give us 10 or 15 extra points to try to get into The Chase."
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON THE CHASE
"To have a good points day at this point in the season with us on the outside looking in, it still gives us that motivation and drive to do it each and every week. With an 11-day break and the wedding coming up, man it's great. The celebration begins tonight. It's all week long and then we head off for the honeymoon for a few days. This momentum and feeling will carry on for the next two weeks."
WHAT IS ALL THIS? IS IT PRESSURE?
"It's the fact that covering drama is more exciting than covering the race anymore. We've already gone all over this, but now we've got the whole gang in here. Glad you guys could make it. It's exciting out there. When guys are very adamant about gaining one spot versus the next, it heats up with each race closing toward The Chase. The first year this was around, it was fairly low key, but the intensity was there. Where I was before we thought we could make The Chase with no problem .We'll get in and then we'll attack. We did that to a tee and won the championship. Next season we had even a better car going into The Chase and it didn't work out that well. We're with a new team, piecing things together and we're making a strong effort to get into The Chase. That's all we can hope for. We can hope for no mistakes and hope other guys make mistakes. That's when you jump on 'em and gain the spots."