KURT BUSCH: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DOVER THIS WEEKEND, YOUR THOUGHTS ON COMING BACK TO DOVER? "I feel like this has been a good track for me in the past. It's always been special for me as well, having made my first start here in the Cup...
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DOVER THIS WEEKEND, YOUR THOUGHTS ON COMING BACK TO DOVER? "I feel like this has been a good track for me in the past. It's always been special for me as well, having made my first start here in the Cup series back in the fall of 2000. It's one intimidating track, that's for sure. Anytime that you get loose coming off the corner and spin off of (Turn 2) or Turn 4, you have a good shot at hitting the inside wall and making your weekend a lot longer. You have to be careful each and every lap and work your way up to speed. At the Monster Mile, it's all about tire conservation. You can really abuse your right-front tire and get in trouble. That's why you have to err on the looser side of the setup. We'll see how it shakes out. Goodyear brought a different tire than what we've had here in the past. It's got us scrambling a little bit. It's got us more on the tighter side. Practice was OK for us. We found ourselves mid-pack in the first session. We'll throw a few things at it for qualifying and see what we can get for our Miller Lite Dodge."
DOES BRAD KESELOWSKI INSPIRE OR MOTIVATE YOU? "I feel like Brad's brought a unique intensity to our team. You have to help the young drivers when you want to help them, and then you have to let them make their own mistakes so that they can learn on their own. Right now, it's about him getting comfortable with the Cup car. That's what I've seen with him so far. He's got a great understanding of his Nationwide car and how to drive those styles of cars. The Cup car is a little different for him right now. Once he blends into some of the setups and some of the feel that we have on the 2 car and Sam has on the 77, then I feel like it will be time for the next step. But right now, he's doing a great job understanding what it takes to make his 12 team fast. Just give him more time under his belt. When we see him come to some of these tracks for the second time with these Penske cars, I'll think he'll start to settle in a little better and I think that there's going to be more positive feedback and that will make the team stronger. Not just his team, the 12 and the 77. For me, I like to help see young kids come along and try to make sure that they don't make too many mistakes and rough up too many feathers. I did a lot of things the wrong way when I started. It's fun to give back and help someone know what to look for and what to look out for."
HOW DOES DOVER COMPARE TO BRISTOL? "I like the short-track feel that Bristol has on the concrete surface. You can really be aggressive with the car. You can toss it around sideways and know that things are going to be under control. If you try to be aggressive here at the Monster Mile and toss it around sideways, it's going to bite you really quick because of the extra speed that you carry. I like the challenge here. It is like a big Bristol as far as looks, but this place is more like a mile-and-a-half than it does like a short-track like Bristol. You have to look out for not just mechanical changes in the car, but the aero side of it as well because of the speeds that we carry. With the rear spoiler on the car, I think that we're going to see quicker speeds in qualifying than normal. We've seen that the last few weeks, especially the track record at Darlington in extreme heat. The car just seems to have more rear downforce with the rear spoiler on them and that will help the cars race side-by-side better here at the Monster Mile."
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF NAVIGATING PIT ROAD HERE AT DOVER? "Pit box 1 is definitely the best pit box out here, hands down. People put more emphasis on qualifying here than they do at other tracks because of that pit box. Jimmie Johnson spent all day in qualifying trim. Something Brad Keselowski did was stay in qualifying trim all practice trying to get that extra 'ooph' in qualifying and that better pit box selection. Then there are other times when you have an easy day when you have a lapped down car in front of you, somebody had trouble right in front of you that's pitted right next to you, so you get an easy in and out that makes it easy on pit lane. Then there's those days where you're just as congested as congested can be when you pull in, the guy in front of you pulls in, the guy in front of him pulls in right afterwards and now all three of you are blocking you in. You hope that in qualifying you're in the top 10 and you get a decent pit box selection to help yourself on Sunday."
IS DOVER ON OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TRACKS WHERE QUALIFYING AND PIT BOX SELECTIONS ARE KEYS? "I would say (Dover) is definitely on the side of more importance. If it's a scale of one to 10, I would give this track and eight on importance. A place like Indianapolis, you want to be towards the end of pit road because it's so narrow. When you're driving down pit road, it's so easy to get in a wreck on pit road at Indianapolis, so that one is and eight or a nine. Bristol gets real tight. It doesn't have as high of a ranking because guys get a lap down and it opens some of the ins and outs off of pit road. Track that is very easy are California Speedway, Michigan Speedway, those are the least worrisome on pit road because there are such big (pit) boxes. It's a two-mile race track and everybody gets spread out when racing, so there's not that much drama when you're on pit road at those tracks."
-source: dodge motorsports