Fontana: Kurt Bush qualifying press conference

KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus WHAT ABOUT YOUR LAP? "It was enjoyable California Speedway and today was track record conditions and we went for the pole. It was just a good lap and we came up a little bit shy ...

KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus

WHAT ABOUT YOUR LAP? "It was enjoyable California Speedway and today was track record conditions and we went for the pole. It was just a good lap and we came up a little bit shy -- four-thousandths-of-a-second, there's not really much you can do to determine what the difference between that was. I may have let the car drift up a little bit too high coming out of the corners, not to pinch speed, so it may have affected the overall lap. But when I was here in the Craftsman Truck Series, it was easy, it was just on the floor all the way around. I didn't think I could pull that off today, so it was a fine balance of throttle, brake and wheel and we got the Rubbermaid Ford where it needed to be -- on the front row."

WHAT ABOUT JACK ROUSH AND HIS RECOVERY? "There is no one word that can describe him. I'll just stop there and the willpower that that individual has -- to survive a plane crash nonetheless and to recover as fast as he is with being in fair condition with his leg sewn back together. I'd like to see him out at the Michigan June race. I really think that he can come to the track that soon. We've got heavy hearts right now, but we can keep our chin up because we know the recovery that he's making. For our season so far, it's just been one race after another where luck has been going our way. We've been prepared for it and we've taken advantage of it and, so far, our worst finish is Texas where we had two flat tires. It's been a great season and we're gonna continue to run and keep that Rubbermaid Ford up front. That's what Newell Rubbermaid wants and that's what we're giving them, so it's been good so far."

WAS IT JUST THE WEATHER OR ARE THERE OTHER FACTORS FOR THE FAST SPEED? "Track record conditions are something that engine tuners look for when you show up and that's a sixty degree day with the air quality being 100 percent -- as far as low humidity and with the wind blowing. The wind was blowing extremely well down the front straightaway, which is additional speed down the front straightaway, and the car, you have to take drag out of it to get down the back straightaway. The car's speed that the car actually sees on the back straightaway with the wind blowing like it is today, is probably 240 miles an hour. So you've got to have your car slicked up to get through that air, but you can haul ass down the front straightaway with that air. So there's the wind and the temperature and, of course, there was the sun that wasn't out today and that all led to conditions for a track record speed."

WHAT ABOUT THE YOUNG GUYS UP FRONT? "It necessarily wasn't a young gun day until DJ got up there. We knew he had a fast car in practice and we knew he was gonna pull off a lap. It seemed like the balance the cars have had so far this year have lended themselves to the Fords on tracks like this -- Atlanta, Las Vegas and here at Fontana. We've got a struggle on the speedways, but we can sure take advantage of it when you have to lift off the throttle."

IS IT IRRITATING TO BE CONSIDERED A YOUNG GUY WHEN YOU'VE WON A RACE? "I don't find it irritating, it just comes over time, it's something that doesn't develop overnight, it's something you can't just go out and earn. Experience comes over years and, being young, I have that look I guess. My father is 50 years old and he looks 30. I've been plagued with that and it's not such a bad thing I don't thing. So, being 23 years old, this is my second year in Winston Cup. I don't expect to be treated like a veteran and I don't expect to be considered an older guy. We'll keep this youth on my side for a while and we'll run with it. It's something that you might get plagued on a few times, it might be your title time and time again, but it's not a bad thing right now."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE GIVING ANYTHING AWAY WITH YOUR YOUTH? "That's when they go back to reference that you're inexperienced and it's because you don't have as many miles at a race track. This race track was built and the first race was '96 or '97, so, therefore, it's not a track like Rockingham or Darlington that they've raced on a hundred million times. So, it's easier to gain experience when they're not that far ahead of you. You have to be a quick study and understand the race track. This is my fourth trip here -- once in a truck, once in a Winston West car and this is my second trip in Winston Cup. So, you get a feel for a race track the third, fourth time around. With the truck in qualifying, I was able to hold it wide open, so today it was pretty close to that and you go off that experience. When the track glazes over, which it did terribly last year, the sun came out, it glazed over and it was like a dirt track out there. Whoever had the tightest car was gonna win the race and that was Rusty Wallace. So you have to understand what's gonna change and when, when to go in the draft and what adjustments to make on the car during pit stops. That's something Jimmy Fennig has given confidence in -- in making calls -- and that's why we've had some great success so far this year is the team effort."

-ford racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace