Kurt Busch riding high in 2002

Kurt Busch is riding high on his recent success during his sophomore year in Winston Cup. So far this season, he has five top-10 finishes and currently sits third in the overall point standings behind teammate Matt Kenseth and leader Sterling ...

Kurt Busch is riding high on his recent success during his sophomore year in Winston Cup. So far this season, he has five top-10 finishes and currently sits third in the overall point standings behind teammate Matt Kenseth and leader Sterling Marlin. Busch, driver of the No. 97 Roush Racing Ford also scored his first career win earlier this season on one of NASCAR's toughest short tracks, the half-mile at Bristol.

So how does the driver of the 97 feel about his current success? Busch, who finished second to Kevin Harvick in the 2001 Raybestos Rookie of the Year, says 2001 was a learning experience for the team. "It just seemed like nothing went our way in 2001. The luck that we had last year, things just multiplied when we had one bad thing go wrong. We flat out got beat for it by Kevin Harvick, winning two races. It was a year where luck just didn't go our way."

However, this season is the complete opposite for the 23-year-old driver. "It seems like we made a complete 180 degree turn on where we were last year. We know how competitive we were in the first segment of this year and we know what we can do to capitalize on some of these races down the road."

Busch will be racing in his first Winston this weekend, an event he's looking forward to. "I've got a great opportunity with Jimmy Fenning. He's won this Winston in the past and it's my first trip into the event, so there's a lot of things to be learned and a lot of money up for stake."

Busch feels the so called "youth movement" is simply the changing face of NASCAR. "A lot of teams have put younger drivers in their cars, a lot of owners have put the faith in those young drivers and the sponsors want to win right away. It seems like we are getting a lot of attention but we are the ones putting up some results and it doesn't necessarily come at the veterans expense, it's just a change in the racing world."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Jimmy Fenning