KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND: "I feel like the first two races went about as good as they could have with us leading laps at both events and finishing strong -- fifth- and...
KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)
YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY THIS WEEKEND: "I feel like the first two races went about as good as they could have with us leading laps at both events and finishing strong -- fifth- and sixth-place. Maybe it could have been a little better. You hope that you don't have to add those points at the end, whether we're running second at Loudon with 25 laps to go and they threw a debris caution or at Dover where we just lost a few spots at the end, with just losing track of our car as far as setup. We find ourselves in a good spot heading into Kansas which has been notoriously tough for me with the flatter surface here. The mile-and-a-half; it just seems to be a little bit tougher for me. Looking at my teammates, they're doing good and those are going to be the setup notes that we are going to be shifting towards qualifying. We'll see how today goes and we've got all day Saturday to get the Miller Lite Dodge dialed-in."
YOU COULD HAVE WON AT BOTH LOUDON AND DOVER. HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT FOR YOU THAT YOU WEREN'T ABLE TO COME AWAY WITH A WIN AT EITHER TRACK? "That's just part of how you have to be at the end of these races. They don't give you the trophy unless you go out there and earn it. That's what we have to do. To get off to a solid start and knock down two out of the 10 (Chase races) is what you have to do because this isn't won in two weeks, it's won in 10."
HAVE YOU REACHED OUT TO PENKSE RACING'S RYAN BRISCOE SINCE HIS LAST RACE IN JAPAN? "That was definitely a tough race to watch out in Japan. I haven't reached out to (Ryan) Briscoe. I felt about the same way he did; maybe he felt worse. I'm pretty sure he felt worse. For him to be in the position that he's in, the more people that call you, the more people that jump in there in the end that haven't been there all year, I felt like I'd lay back on this one and allow him to gather his thoughts to get the poise back and to pull through what he needs to pull through coming up at Homestead. That's to lead laps, win that race, and bring home the championship for Penske Racing. He knows I'm pulling for him."
AS A DRIVER, HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH GETTING KNOCKED OUT OF A RACE BECAUSE OF A $"2 PART" BREAKING? "Those are the tougher ones. It happens to everybody and it happens to the best of us. It can happen early in a career; it can happen in the late stages of a race, anytime at all a $2 part can jump up and bite you. It's tough. It definitely makes you think of the process that you went through to arrive at that point. It's better to be proactive than reactive. You have to cover all your bases. You have to go through things with a fine-toothed comb and learn from each of those past experiences. We broke a water pump at Pocono earlier this year and I looked at Pat and said, 'Have you ever broken a water pump?' He's been racing for 30 years and I've been racing 15, 16 years, I've never heard of a water pump breaking. You find those kinds of things happen. You hope that they don't happen when all the money is on the line which is the Chase."
ARE THE SEAMS ON THE TRACK AN ISSUE HERE AT KANSAS? "Last year, I had a hard time here at Kansas. I don't know when they put that tar sealant down to help with drainage, water getting into the cracks and pot holes developing or big bumps. I think they did that last year. I couldn't go from the second lane to the third lane or the second lane back to the first lane without crossing the 'Tar of Death'. It was tough. Today, the wind was blowing and it's worse. That's what it is. They're not going to fix it and it's not going to go away. I raced on dirt tracks out in Las Vegas in the dry desert with the wind blowing. We didn't know what wet and tacky was. We were always on dry, slick tracks. You just deal with what the race track is and you do your best."
PENSKE RACING'S PARKER KLIGERMAN IS GOING TO TRY AN RUN THE NATIONWIDE RACE TOMORROW, WHAT KIND OF RACER DO YOU THINK HE IS? "I've seen Parker in action and been impressed with his skills. With the program at Penske Racing, running ARCA, you're going to have superior equipment. That's always a kid's dream to go out there and showcase his talent in good cars and then be able to produce good results, and make last lap passes or restart passes like he did yesterday. I haven't followed him that closely. I have communicated with him. I feel like he's an up-and-coming star who has his head on straight and doing the right things on the race track and that's the most important part."
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO RACE AGAINST YOUR BROTHER KYLE? "It's been a good relationship. It's not like the Williams' sisters in tennis. It's not like we're playing doubles together (laughs). We have to go and compete with each other and against each other. You might see us team-up at a track like Daytona or Talladega where's there's drafting. We each have a keen sense of where each other is on the race track, maybe even a short track like Richmond, Bristol where you're trying to make a pass and you can just make it easier on a guy if you yield to him and give him room. At the same time, at the end of the day, if I finish eight and I don't know if I had a good run or bad run compared to him, he's the first guy that I check on the timing and scoring sheet to see if I beat him. I think he does the same thing with me. There's the help that we give each other, there's the pain of being brothers we give each other. The bottom line is that we've never really shared notes. I thought that would cloud our relationship. Early on, I said, 'Let's not do that, let's talk about race tracks and what you feel.' I went over and talked to him today and said, 'Hey, are you feeling the wind between (turns) 1 and 2? What do you feel off of Turn 4?' That's about it. We've never really shared hard core numbers."
WHAT UPCOMING TRACKS ARE YOU LOOK FORWARD TO WHERE YOU FEEL YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AS A TEAM? "The 10 week stretch you have to be positive and circle them way early in the year and say, 'I want to have a shot at the championship.' And if you don't get in, you don't have a shot the next 10 weeks. We've done the first step. We made another step with the first two races, running strong and competitive. I look at these next four races as being the meat and potatoes of the Chase. If we can rally through these next four, which are tough tracks for us, those are the four that we have to get through. Talladega is the wild card. I feel good about Talladega. And then Texas, Phoenix, Homestead can be a great rally run for us at the end."
ARE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW SMOOTH THINGS HAVE GONE SINCE PAT (TRYSON) MADE HIS ANNOUNCEMENT THAT HE WAS LEAVING? "It seems to be business as usual. We've wrapped it up a bit honestly. You can talk all you want or cover up things. I like the ways that Tuesday's have gone since he made his announcement. We have our big meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday where he's with the crew guys just before (we meet) and then he's with all the big department heads right after that...the aero guys, chassis, guys, the engine shop and it's a feeling like you're crunching for an exam, getting all the information that you can in at one time. He's off for a travel day on Thursday and then we're here at the track on Friday. It's gone very smooth. Everyone seems to be more attentive, focused and determined to give their best effort that we can these next eight weeks."
-credit: dodge motorsports