This Week In Ford Racing - Kurt Busch

This Week in Ford Racing January 28, 2003 Roush Racing visit Kurt Busch interview Roush Racing had an outstanding year in 2002 with 10 wins and three drivers among the top 10 in the final NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. The four...

This Week in Ford Racing
January 28, 2003
Roush Racing visit

Kurt Busch interview

Roush Racing had an outstanding year in 2002 with 10 wins and three drivers among the top 10 in the final NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. The four returning Roush drivers from last season - Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth - spoke about the coming year during last week's Charlotte media tour.

KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus:

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING IN THE SPOTLIGHT?

"It's not a new element, but yet it's gonna be because it's Winston Cup. There are a couple of elements that have been taken away from me now that I'm gonna feel comfortable with and that's the fact I've only ever been in a series for two years. Whether it was the Southwest Tour or the trucks, where I was for just one year, but this is gonna be my third year in a series which is the longest I've ever spent in one place. I feel real comfortable with the team, with the series and knowing how many races there are and what the format is each week. Now there's that element of pressure with living up to what we did in 2002, but it's not that, it's a matter of going out and being comfortable again and applying more pressure to gather up points. Being the champion of the Southwest Tour, rookie of the year in the trucks and second in points, I've had some media opportunities. This will probably be more than what I'm used to, but it's just a new element that I'll be able to adjust to."

YOU SEEM COMFORTABLE WITH THE MEDIA.

"It's something where I didn't like it in the beginning. The Southwest Tour was a great taste of it, but at that level there's not much that goes to it. Then with the trucks, there was a nice stepladder and progression that I took with competing in the different series I've been in and being at that level of being able to win the championship or finishing 27th in points my rookie year in Winston Cup. I've seen what it can be. I've seen it as bad as it can be. There are days where I don't even get touched because it's a bad day, but then there are days where you've got to step up and represent who you are and what you're about and, of course, represent the sponsors that make it happen."

DO YOU THINK YOU'RE THE GUY TO BEAT FOR THE TITLE THIS YEAR WITH THE WAY YOU FINISHED 2002?

"We could be. We've been tabbed with that label, so to speak, of being one to compete for the championship in some preseason picks. I feel like we're a top five team and when you're a top five team, you're in position to shoot for a championship. When you're in the top five during a race, you're able to have a chance at winning the race at the end of the day because you're in position. We'll see how things go. We'll assess it. I'm not one to say we're gonna win it outright. We could fall on our face and finish 20th, you never know. We're gonna work with what we've been dealt with as far as the template changes and continue that chemistry between Jimmy Fennig and I because that was just too smooth and too sweet. That made it a lot of fun."

ANY ANXIETY ABOUT BEING ABLE TO PICK UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF LAST YEAR?

"I might be stupid but I didn't think 36 races was enough. Now we've got a fresh start and everybody is on an even plateau. There is no momentum that's carried one person down or lifted another person up. This is the point in the year where everybody is fresh and everybody wants to get off to a great start. We might have a little bit extra or we might not, it's still just the same format on how we've got to prepare our cars, get our crew members in the right focus, and go hit our marks and do our job."

Jeff Burton
Mark Martin
Matt Kenseth

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Kurt Busch , Mark Martin