Busch Pursues Another Lone Star State Victory FORT WORTH, Texas - Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led "Blue Deuce" team return to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's Samsung Mobile 500 looking to make it ...
Busch Pursues Another Lone Star State Victory
FORT WORTH, Texas - Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led "Blue Deuce" team return to Texas Motor Speedway for Sunday's Samsung Mobile 500 looking to make it "two-for-two-for-two." The No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge crew will be gunning for their second consecutive intermediate track win as well as consecutive wins on the 1.5-mile TMS quad-oval track.
"I've been looking forward to this race weekend really since last November," said Busch, who comes into Texas hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 35th-place finish last Saturday at Phoenix which dropped him from sixth to 14th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings. "We used strategy to take the win the last time around at Texas and it'd be really cool to come back in there and get us a dominant win like we did last month at Atlanta.
"Regardless of how you pull it off, a Texas win is about as huge as it gets," said Busch, who currently trails his brother, Kyle, by 21 points for the "Chase cut-off" 12th spot in the standings. "We heading back into Texas focused on making it two wins in-a-row and earning us another one of Eddie's (Gossage, Speedway president) famous cowboy hats that his winners get."
Busch and his team are indeed returning to Texas as the track's most-recent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' winners, having taken the checkered flag in the Nov. 8, 2009 Dickies 500. But, Busch and crew also head into TMS as the series' most-recent intermediate track victors, as they claimed an impressive win in the March 7 Kobalt Tools 500 on the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway.
While Busch started third and led six times for 89 laps en route to last November's Texas win, it was strategy and excellent fuel mileage that allowed him to take the lead from younger brother, Kyle, and lead the final three circuits to pick up his 20th career Cup win. Busch's Atlanta victory four races ago came after leading six times for 129 laps. He took the lead for the final time on Lap 332 and only late-race caution flags worked to keep the competition close in Busch's run to his second consecutive Atlanta spring race win.
Busch is quick to point out that his win in last fall's Dickies 500 will forever be hovering around the top of his list of favorites. "The way that we won it - having the fuel mileage game work in our favor and outlast my little brother in a really dramatic finish like that - will always be a special memory," said Busch. "But the fact that we won a race fan a million dollar prize and that we were racing for a special cause during that race really sent the meaning and value of that win into orbit."
Busch's win in last November's Texas race garnered $1 million for a lucky race fan, Michael McGee. McGee, an agricultural teacher and horse training business owner who had been named the 2009 Dickies American Worker of the Year, turned his $50,000 prize into $1 million with his selection of Busch to win the Dickies 500. The victory also added a $10,000 bonus donation to Operation Homefront. The Texas race concluded a special five-race promotion with the organization that helps troops in need. Busch's new "PRS-702" Miller Lite Dodge was adorned with a unique Operation Homefront color scheme for the race and the representatives of the organization, along with several soldiers, celebrated the win with Busch in Victory Lane.
"They really know how to make you feel that it's a major accomplishment to win a Texas race and that certainly added to our special day and the celebration we had out there last November," said Busch, who will be looking for career win No. 22 in Sunday's TMS battle. "The cowboy hats, getting to fire the six-shooters, the whole big western theme; that's a great trademark that Eddie and the Texas track have going for them. The celebration doesn't end in Victory Lane as Eddie carries the winners around to the Speedway Club to raise a special toast to the massive crowd gathered there. It's all just so cool and that's about the best way that I know how to describe it.
"It's a special win on a special track - a really big accomplishment that they turn into a huge memorable experience," Busch said. "It's something you really long for doing again if you've been fortunate enough to win there and that's certainly the case with our Miller Lite Dodge Team as we head back to Texas."
Entering this weekend's race, Busch's career Cup record at TMS boasts one win, two top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 14 starts. He started 28th and finished eighth in last year's Samsung 500. He has a 17.4 average start and a 13.8 average finish overall. The track also holds historical significance for Busch in that it was the site where he scored a win in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut (in the April 8, 2006 O'Reilly 300).
Busch, Addington and crew will be racing their "PRS-715" Miller Lite Dodge again this weekend at Texas. This is the same car that they debuted at Atlanta in winning fashion last month.