Las Vegas: Pole winning team interview

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) A GREAT QUALIFYING RUN TODAY? "An unexpected lap. Looking back at some of the decisions Steve Addington made...just looking at our notebook before I came over here...I'm following his direction on...

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger)

A GREAT QUALIFYING RUN TODAY?

"An unexpected lap. Looking back at some of the decisions Steve Addington made...just looking at our notebook before I came over here...I'm following his direction on some of the key things that maybe I've been missing in the COT. To get a pole with the COT, I think it's my first pole one with this new car, it's been that long. That's been the process of getting to this point. It's a fun car to race. It's a fun car to win with and now to qualify with, this is my first pole. I'm stoked. To do it here in my hometown in Vegas is really exciting to me and to all the fans that came here today. To Miller Lite, Dodge...you always hope for success at the beginning of the year. The biggest step for us to make as a team is the driver-crew-chief combination. And the trust that he gave me today was really moving."

DID YOU GET BRAGGING RIGHT BACK FROM YOUR BROTHER BY TAKING THE TRACK RECORD AWAY FROM YOUR BROTHER?

"It's just neat sitting on the pole.  Over time
I'll let things set in.  Kyle's had great success here at Vegas and now I've
got the right guy in my camp.  Steve Addington's definitely has his game on
at this track, so I just hope this bleeds over to Sunday.  To have the track
record, that's cool.  It couldn't be better conditions for qualifying and
it's nice to sit on it for 365 more days.  We'll take it."

WHAT'S THE DIFFERNCE BETWEEN YOUR QUALIFYING RUN LAST YEAR VERSUS THIS SEASON. LAST YEAR WHRE YOU QUALIFIED OUTSIDE POLE?

"I was asking Steve just before the first car went out what the track record was. I asked what the pole speed was last year and the pole was an XX.03. Junior (Dale Earnhardt) went out there and totally just squashed what I was shooting for. I was shooting for a mid-90. You never know how fast your car can go sometimes. You go off the confidence that you see around you which is the other guys going just in front of you. You base it off of track conditions and right now, the track conditions were ideal. Sometimes you can have the fastest car and they'll send you out there first or early on when track conditions aren't prime and you end up 15th or 16th and a little frustrated. Luck always has to be on your side when you have a pole of things go your way."

HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR CAR?

"This is definitely cool to sit on the pole. To feel it all day Friday and all day Saturday, just to have the buzz around the team. We got a nice sleeve of Miller/Coors hats to give to the crew guys. They'll be pumped up and that carry's for a few days. We just hope that we find the right combination to make our tires last, our handling right and to be there when it counts on Sunday. This track last year, the pace was so quick that a lot of guys had engine trouble over revving the engines. Gear rules have been changed so that should be taken care of. We should have sunny skies on Sunday. It's going to be low 60's. You look at those conditions and you give your best guess for dialing in the car if you don't get track time tomorrow."

HOW GOOD IS YOUR CAR?

"I feel like today with the way that our car looked on the long-run sheet as far as its average lap time compared to some other cars, we looked competitive. There's still some guys faster than us on the short runs that we have to work on. I think that's what I have to work on is the short run...which means fresh tires, right after a pit stop or at the start of the race. With that, that leads to a struggle with a little in qualifying. So maybe today is bigger than what we expected."

CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE TO WIN HERE AT LAS VEGAS?

"It's something that you can't count your chickens before they hatch, but this would be a special win. It's hard to talk about it and play 'what if'. I'd like to go out there and do it and bring it home for my group, my team. It would be even that more special around because Mom's not here this year (in Las Vegas) with the surgery she had. I know that she's sitting at home rooting us on."

WHAT'S MORE FUN, WINNING THE POLE TODAY OR RACING BIG WHEELS BACK IN 1982? "I never got good traction racing Big Wheels because I was pedaling so fast. I never won any big wheel races because I was just trying too hard (laughs)."

IS LAS VEGAS THE MOST SPECIAL RACE TRACK IN THE CIRCUIT FOR YOU?

"It's the people that make it special to me. You always remember the people that helped you to get to where I've gotten in racing. To see them back in Vegas is awesome. Indy's big. Daytona is huge. But Vegas ranks as my number two."

GREAT RUN KURT:

"Wow, what an amazing lap. We knew that our Miller Lite Dodge was fast, but the track cooled off and that tightened up the track and helped make our lap even faster. Great adjustments by (Steve) Addington from practice. I'm just so excited. To qualify that well her in Las Vegas is incredible.

"We were struggling a little in practice because we stayed in race trim for so long and only made one mock-up (qualifying) run. It was really rough over the bumps and that's what we focused on. I feel like that paid dividends in the end. We didn't tighten or loosen the car up. We just focused on those bumps. (Steve) Addington is pretty smart with that. I'm really excited with just the changes we made today, how we approached today and to come out on top with a pole, I'm stoked. I was getting up on the wheel, don't get me wrong. I love Vegas. I love this atmosphere. I just need to be able to get it together for the full 400 miles on Sunday. It feels good right now.

"I would say we used a combination of what I was familiar with and what he (Addington) liked. Right now, that's our plan of attack each week. We had success last year with our Miller Lite Dodge. If feels good we've Addington's notes and his knowledge to blend into that. I hope it's a one-two punch for making good adjustments. Sometimes, we're not going to hit it just right, but we'll take it right now. It feels really neat here in our hometown, Las Vegas."

***

STEVE ADDINGTON (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)

YOU'RE ON THE POLE AGAIN AT LAST VEGAS?

"That's awesome.  That's two years
in a row.  I won it last year with Kyle (Busch) and now on the pole here
with Kurt (Busch).  Maybe we'll get the same results that we did last year
(Kyle won event).  To get Kurt a win here in Las Vegas would be incredible."

IT LOOKS LIKE RAIN COULD WASH OUT TOMORROW. DO YOU HAVE GOOD INFORMATION TO APPLY TO SUNDAY'S RACE?

"Absolutely. We unloaded and we weren't really good, but we threw a bunch of stuff at it and the car really responded. Our Miller Lite Dodge is fast. We got it pretty decent late in practice. We put a set of tires on it, thought that we were pretty close on balance and made a 15 lap run and got a good read on it. I didn't see anybody else make that long of a run, so I think we have a direction to where our car is headed. We'll sit down like we did before qualifying and talk about it to make positive changes for the race."

WERE YOU SURPRISED AT HOW FAST THE SPEEDS WERE IN QUALIFYING?

"Yeah. When Dale Jr. ran that lap I thought that was it. I didn't think that anyone would touch it. Kurt was sitting in the car and we were talking about it and thanks to our teammate Brad (Keselowski), he came on the radio and said that there was a ton of grip. I just told Kurt that the track was tight and go for it. He's kind of amped up being here in Las Vegas, so that was probably worth a couple of tenths in the driver. I just appreciate how hard all these guys on this Miller Lite team have worked this weekend. We've come a long way and Sunday could be really special."

-source: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup