Indianapolis: Kurt Busch - Friday media visit

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Vortex Dodge Charger) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DECREASE IN ATTENDANCE AND TELEVISION RATINGS IN NASCAR? "I think that the race tracks saw a big boom in the mid 80's and 90's and started to build grandstands and built...

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Vortex Dodge Charger)

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE DECREASE IN ATTENDANCE AND TELEVISION RATINGS IN NASCAR? "I think that the race tracks saw a big boom in the mid 80's and 90's and started to build grandstands and built the tracks up so big that it's not a full capacity right now. There are still big grandstand packages that they're putting together...over 100,000 fans at most of our events is something that really can't be done at any at any other sport."

DO YOU THINK THAT IT'S CYCLICAL? "It depends on a lot of different figures and numbers. I think that there's always cycles at any sport. Whether it's the economy, action on the track, or the way that the cars look, there's always things to look at and improve on because we want to be sold out at every of our events."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE KESELOWSKI-EDWARDS INCIDENT LAST WEEKEND AT GATEWAY? "I think the way that it has played out is that you have someone who is four or five years into the sport and a new guy. Carl has raced a lot in the Nationwide Series and some of his tendencies are Nationwide-type things. I see that a lot of the time when he races on the Cup side. He's doing some Nationwide things and until he decides that Cup is where he wants to be, maybe that's how he'll drive."

ARE THERE ANY CONCERNS THAT WHAT HAPPENED AT GATEWAY MAY CARRY OVER TO THE CUP SIDE OF RACES? "I don't think that they'll do anything here at Indy or at the next few races; they're on probation. It's tough for Brad to be on probation. He really was the innocent guy in this whole deal. He's the new guy and when you're the new guy...I've been that guy many of times...you're sitting there saying, 'What did I do wrong?' It really teaches you a lot about how to develop into the sport and to become a better driver. Ultimately, when NASCAR is trying to tell you something, you have to listen."

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO YOU TO GIVE ROGER A CUP WIN HERE AT INDY? "It would be the ultimate victory. We did something very special earlier this year by winning the Coca-Cola 600 and protecting it not just from the Ganassi guys, but delivering the first one for Roger...a race that he'd never won before. It's a very prestigious race. We're pushing hard. Sometimes those guys on the Indy side rub it in a little bit to our stock car guys that they have 15 (Indy 500) wins and we don't have any here at the Brickyard. It would be huge if we could pull it off."

YOU, JIMMIE (JOHNSON) AND TONY (STEWART) ALL RACED EACH OTHER HARD AND CLEAN AT LOUDON LAST MONTH. HOW CAN YOU GUYS CAN 'HAVE AT IT' AND SOME CAN'T? "(That race) was fun and it was something that if you treat somebody one way, you hope that you get treated the same way back. That's not what happened at Gateway. You want to pass everybody clean. Sometimes when your car isn't at its best and you see a shot at victory but you know that you really can't win, you go for a little bump and run. When you're the leader and somebody catches you, you're not doing a good enough job staying ahead of that guy. It comes down to racing someone with respect."

BUT YOU GUYS GOT OUT OF THE CAR AFTER LOUDON AND NOBODY HAD ISSUES WITH EACH OTHER? "Like at Sonoma when Jeff Gordon had a bad day, that was pretty rough with the amount of guys that he ran into. You don't normally see that out of Jeff, but there's sometimes that you bump and move somebody out of the way. Bumping someone deliberately or when you just go over the edge and someone spins, that's when you have the issue."

HAS THE 'HAVE AT IT BOYS' MANTRA MADE YOU RE-EVALUATE HOW YOU RACE CERTAIN GUYS? "What's it's done is that there are different stages of the race where you have double-file restarts all throughout the race and it's like now you have a fourth-quarter atmosphere. You get through the first half of the race and you race different guys the same way, same guys different ways. The fourth-quarter just seems when all the action breaks out."

IS THERE AN INCIDENT WHERE A WIN SHOULD BE TAKEN AWAY? "I've seen it happen in Late Model racing, Saturday night short-track type of stuff. It's a tough call. When you different things from the booth as an official...when you see different things from the car as a driver, you can interpret it 100 different ways. When two guys consistently run into on another it makes for great film. 'Days of Thunder' was made on two guys wrecking each other on the beach together. It can turn into a lot of different things. It's tough to take a win away, but I've seen it happen."

HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU WITH KNOWING WHERE "THE LINE" IS? "I'd say that I'm very comfortable in understanding (where the line is) and where NASCAR's line is. Are they the same? Yes. I would race somebody as hard as I would race them as long as I get raced the same way back. When somebody steps over the line there has to be a thought that goes quickly through your mind of, 'Are you going to retaliate or are you going to pass them back clean'? It just depends on how things happen. Ultimately it comes down to that Christian line of 'treat others like you want to be treated.'

IS NASCAR'S DEFINITION THAT IT'S OK TO BUMP SOMEONE A COUPLE OF TIMES BUT IF CONTINUES, THAT'S WHERE THERE IS A PROBLEM? "Absolutely. Bump and run is a product of good racing that you see everywhere. That's what all of us grew up with. As far as Saturday night short-track racing, the Truck Series, Nationwide and Cup, that's a good product of good hard racing."

-source: dodge motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Kurt Busch