KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) WHAT'S THE OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND? "We're genuinely optimistic based on some of our engine dyno results and the way that the chassis dyno has produced some good power numbers. So at Penske, we...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
WHAT'S THE OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND? "We're genuinely optimistic based on some of our engine dyno results and the way that the chassis dyno has produced some good power numbers. So at Penske, we think that we've done an excellent job continuing to build good power and advancing the program. What is unique is that we won't be using the R6 engine this weekend. We'll be using the old Dodge engine, the R5. We still feel like our restrictor-plate racing program needs more time to develop with the R6. I don't know if we'll debut the R6 restrictor-plate engine at Talladega in the fall. We'll hopefully be in the Chase standings, but right now we've got the R5 and it has produced much more power than when we ran at Talladega in April. For us, it looks much better already before we can even hit the race track. Of course, the aerodynamic improvements and the team working behind the scenes that gives me a good car for the restrictor-plate race. You always have to work behind the scenes and when you get to the track, it's basically all you've got. So we'll see where we shake out in this afternoon's practice."
DID YOU GET A SENSE OF HOW GOOD YOUR CAR WAS IN THE RAIN-SHORTNED DAYTONA 500? "I feel like we had plenty of time at the rain-shortened Daytona 500 to figure out where our car was and where we ranked against some of the other guys. We just got caught up in the Dale Jr. wreck on the back straightaway and so we were without a rear bumper and without a rear TV panel. I really didn't have people who wanted to draft with us just based on the insecurity of the car. But we were able to find holes and work our way back up and finish 10th when the rains came in. The race was OK for us; it wasn't as stellar of a year as it was the year before when Ryan Newman and myself finished first and second. And then we went to Talladega in April and I felt that we were behind the curve, but to see the improvements and the things that we've done behind the scenes heading into this July race, I've very optimistic heading into this weekend."
HOW DO YOU THINK DOUBLE-FILE RESTARTS WILL CHANGE THE RACE? "I think the leader is really going to dictate how he can use the re-start to his advantage. Let's just say that I'm leading and I have David Stremme in third (place), I'm going to change to the inside lane because I know that the third-place guy will have the inside lane. If I've got Sam Hornish Jr. running fourth, then I have that option to start the race on the outside of the front row. There's going to be that forecast. Who's going to be able to pass who on restarts? It's going to make it more exciting, that much more unpredictable. That's what Daytona is...in the back of my mind...who can predict the unpredictable and that's why sometimes you see surprise winners in victory lane. That's what makes this race such a unique race to watch, race in, and be a part in."
IS THERE A PARTUCILAR GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE IN THE FIRST HALL OF FAME LIST? "What I hope that they do over the years is find these marquee individuals that deserve to be in the (NASCAR) Hall of Fame and put them in at a spaced enough rate. They don't need to throw all of them in all at once because it would be such a grand celebration and every year after that, it wouldn't lead up to being the same celebration. But who do you choose to put in first that is a retired driver or deceased driver. Who do you classify as what they've done for this sport other than the numbers that they've compiled or what they've done behind the scenes. There are plenty of owners, crew chiefs... drivers will of course have the main marquee value when you have an induction class. I just hope that they spread it out over time."
Obviously we're going to have a Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. in our first class, but there are greats and legends like a Darrell Waltrip and (Cale) Yarborough, we've got a current guy that's out there that is a three-time-defending champion (Jimmie Johnson). When do you put him in, the day after he retires? I just hope that they spread it out and makes Charlotte and coming to downtown Charlotte and looking at the NASCAR heritage the right way instead of throwing us all in at once."
WERE YOU BLOWN AWAY THAT JOEY LOGANO BEAT YOUR BROTHER'S RECORD OF BEING THE YOUNGEST CUP SERIES WINNER? "It was tough to see that record go. I thought that the Busch Brothers put that effort in together with me opening up some of the doors for him and giving him a ride at an early age. He got a ride at the top level so early that (NASCAR) made a rule that said you had to be 18 year-old to compete at the top levels. It was tough. The Busch Brothers had that, now (Joey) Logano does. Records are meant to be broken. Does he (Logano) have a good shot at winning this weekend? I know when I was a rookie that I didn't have a good shot at winning at restrictor-plate races because that yellow, back bumper stands out pretty large and drivers always find some way to get around 'em."
-credit: dodge motorsports