Indianapolis: Kurt Busch post-qualifying press conference

2006 ALLSTATE 400 AT THE BRICKYARD PRESS CONFERENCE Kurt Busch Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, Indianapolis Motor Speedway MODERATOR: OK. We're pleased to be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Kurt had the third-fastest time...

Kurt Busch
Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

MODERATOR: OK. We're pleased to be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Kurt had the third-fastest time out there today during qualifying for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. His speed was 182.752 miles per hour.

Kurt, take us through your qualifying laps out there this afternoon.

KURT BUSCH: You know, it was a great feeling just to be in position to go for the pole, and I had that. The team gave me a great car. That's really all that you can ask for. It's just a matter of the driver going out there to do the job. And with the warm-up corner through Turn 4 to take the green, everything was a go. The car had a little bit of a balance in it toward the loose side to take the green. I went through Turn 1, thought everything was going pretty smooth. I hit Turn 2, that's a very important corner to carry the speed down the back straightaway. Everything was great. Turn 3 maybe got in there a little light, just because now the temperatures started to build up in the tires, the pressure started building up. And Turn 4, just got a little bit too tight, and I think that's where we lost the pole. But to talk about seven-thousandths of a second, it's almost as if we do have the pole, we're just not going to be written down as the guy that got the pole. So it was a great lap.

We'll start third and it's inside second row. To have The Captain on my side this time around, that's the best feeling in the world, to drive for him at this place. So it gives us a great momentum into the practice sessions this afternoon and for Sunday's race, of course. So we'll see what we can get dialed in this afternoon.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Kurt.

If you have a question, please raise your hand. Please identify yourself, name and affiliation. If you have a question, please raise your hand. Any questions for Kurt?

BUSCH: Come on, it was seven-thousandths of a second. (Laughter) Everybody is upstairs, right? (Laughter)

Q: Is there any extra force being put on you guys, you and Ryan, to try and win for Penske here, to win a NASCAR win at Indianapolis compared to 14 wins in the Indy 500?

BUSCH: It's something that it's very special for Roger when he comes here to race here and to go for the win like he does all the time. To have the stock car group here this weekend with a little bit more weight because he won here in May, it does throw a little bit of pressure in there. It's a great feeling. It's fun. You know, he's heavily involved with the teams, but yet when you come to Indy, we step it up a little bit more. The car that we built, I think it's had a couple different bodies on it before it even hit the racetrack just to make it even better. So we had a legitimate shot at the pole today. I think we came up just a little bit short just due to our pill draw when we went out. We were right in the middle; track temp went up 18 degrees since it started.

It's great to be in position to go for the win right now because we were that close for the pole. We'll see what we can do this afternoon for practice, get it ready for tomorrow's race.

MODERATOR: Question back here.

Q: How's married life?

BUSCH: It's been great. It's just the full circle. The feeling of being complete is definitely something very special to me and to Eva. She's a great gal to be married to. I'm happy with that. It's almost similar to, you know, my relationship with Roger and his team, to be in that situation and to feel complete. I'm very happy with both situations, driving for Roger; and when Eva let's me drive the boat, everything's great. (Laughter)

MODERATOR: Any other questions? Right here.

Q: How much do you guys pay attention to Penske's IRL team and how much do they kind of pay attention to how you guys are doing?

BUSCH: You know, we all work out of our different garages, you can say, and each has their own group of guys, sponsors. Some of the sponsors do share on the cars such as Penske Truck Rentals on my Grand National car and they're on the front nose cone of the IRL team. But we all get pumped up when another Penske team does well, such as the Porsche program won its first race this year. To see Roger just acting as if he's owned that series this year, he's won almost all the races. He's got both of his guys up in the points. It's great to see that, and it's motivation for the Cup program to step up and to run parallel with that IRL deal.

But, you know, for him to struggle the last couple of seasons in IRL because they didn't quite have the power, now they have that power, now they're almost dominating. So to see his vision and to see how he puts things together, it's just exciting anticipating the future on what he sees with myself, with Roy McCauley as a team and what he sees in Ryan Newman and Matt Borland together. That's what we look forward to is his vision and what he sees in his racing. Right now the IRL team is definitely benefiting from him just tasting the fruits, you can say, from his wisdom. I think the Cup program will get there shortly.

MODERATOR: Any other questions? OK, good. Thank you, Kurt. Good luck tomorrow.


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch