Fontana Busch rookie press conference

April 29, 2001 California Speedway KURT BUSCH --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 13th) RAYBESTOS ROOKIE PRESS CONFERENCE -- "What a wonderful day it was at California Speedway. I'm glad this race was 500 miles, that's for sure. ...

April 29, 2001 California Speedway

KURT BUSCH --97-- Sharpie/Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 13th)

RAYBESTOS ROOKIE PRESS CONFERENCE -- "What a wonderful day it was at California Speedway. I'm glad this race was 500 miles, that's for sure. We had a lot of ups and a lot of downs and started two laps behind basically, but we just kept digging. We had a problem on a pit stop. I had a vibration I picked up right after we got our lap back, right when I thought I was gonna be able to go to the front. I had to work our way back again after we pitted for two tires under green. So, for coming from two laps down to finishing on the lead lap in 13th wasn't a bad day. I have to thank Rusty Wallace for letting me back on the lead lap and all the veterans up front for letting me play with 'em and gain some experience up towards the front."

YOU'VE BEEN THE TOP ROUSH DRIVER THE LAST COUPLE OF RACES? "You might be talking about where we started at Texas with a top five and that was a place I ran a couple of times with the truck. There's usually a pretty lame explanation on why I did well. At Talladega, a monkey can drive the car. Here at Fontana, I won the truck race here in the fall, so I was very familiar with this place too. You throw in Martinsville, which is a track that I probably won't get around in 100 years -- Burton was the quick car that day. It just seems like it's more of a combination of what a rookie needs to do and that's stay out of trouble and just work on you pit stops, work on your racing line and stay out of the way. It's a situation where Mark, he had a good car today and got caught up with the 22. I don't know what happened there and Burton just had an off day. I don't know what the heck his problem was. We expected him to go fast. It's odd to say that and to say we're the best Roush car right now. We're just having the best luck and right now the rookie points have favored us of late and that's why we've had the increase in points and in rookie points."

WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM AT THE START OF THE RACE? "The initial problem I had was a flat left-rear when we went out for our pace laps. I thought there was a problem. The 96 car helped us and the 14 car helped us. We came in and the crew chief decided to put in fuel when we changed left side tires and that's a one-lap penalty, so we had to come back in and start a lap down and a lap behind."

IS THAT A ROOKIE MISTAKE? "Yeah, I think I should have been able to catch that too. I thought about it when I came in and I was like, 'Man, it would be cool to top off and we can go 55 laps where everybody's gotta come in at 52' or whatever the beginning of the race would have been. It just went by the wayside. I should have been more aware of what the rules are and, poor Ben, he feels real bad about it. And then the pit stop, we had one problem with it, so to come out of here with a 13th-place finish, we might have used up a ton of luck these last two weeks."

WHAT WAS YOUR MINDSET STARTING THE RACE A LAP DOWN? "This track is notorious for green flag runs, so it was just gonna be a long day where I had to focus on my line. When I pulled out on the race track I didn't see a single car and within 10 laps I started seeing the tail-end of the field and we came right to 'em. I knew we had a decent car and if yellows came out, I knew the track was gonna be slick today, so I was hoping yellows would come out. You just keep digging. You don't really try to think about where you're gonna finish in points. You don't think of where you are on the race track. It was like the spotter told me, 'Just keep digging. Look at what's in front of you.' I was just pretending I was running fourth behind Gordon and the rest of them."

-Ford Racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace