BUSCH SWEEPS NEW HAMPSHIRE * Kurt Busch became the second driver in as many years to sweep the New Hampshire International Speedway NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races with his win today, matching the feat of Jimmie Johnson from last...
BUSCH SWEEPS NEW HAMPSHIRE
* Kurt Busch became the second driver in as many years to sweep the New Hampshire International Speedway NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races with his win today, matching the feat of Jimmie Johnson from last season.
* Busch's triumph also marked the second straight year he has swept both events at one track, doing it last year at Bristol.
* The win was Busch's 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and third this season. * Ford has now won 9 NNC events this season, which is second to Chevrolet's 15. * Ford still holds the all-time NNC record for most wins by a manufacturer with 553 and that's four more than Chevrolet.
* Taurus is creeping up on its 100th NNC win. Busch registered the 83rd points race victory this afternoon, but when you add in seven wins as a result of the Bud Shootout or All-Star Challenge, the total climbs to 90.
RICKY RUDD - No. 21 Motorcraft Taurus (Finished 37th)
WHAT PUT YOU OUT? "I'm not really sure. Something happened in the motor. It went sour and locked up all the way and I'm not really sure what it was. It's a shame because the Motorcraft car was really doing good today. We were in the top 10 most of the afternoon and it looked like we might have had a top five there. All year long we haven't had any motor trouble, we've been having handling trouble. Fatback comes along and gets that straightened out and now we have a motor problem, so I don't know. It's just not meant to be I guess."
IS IT ANY MORAL VICTORY TO BE RUNNING BETTER? "Oh yeah. We've run like a dog most of the year and then we had a good top-10 or top-5 run, but we didn't get to finish it. We ran long enough to let people know we were there. The pit stops were great, so from that side of it things are coming together great. We just need to finish now."
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus
VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW - "This car was awesome and thanks for all the fans for coming out today. It's an awesome show when you get to come up and back up a track that you ran well at early in July. For us to be able to do this a lot had to fall into place. We had to take the car cover off and throw it back out on the track. It's an awesome show to be able to do that with this team. Week one is in the books. We've got a lot of work ahead of us and I know it's gonna be a strenuous run."
HOW MUCH DID HAVING THE SAME CAR YOU WON WITH IN JULY HELP TODAY? "It only helped when it mattered. Just being able to have the car all the way in qualifying trim on Friday, knowing that we needed to qualify better, having the graces of the good Lord to rain us out. I wish we could have qualified. That would have been a great show for the fans to see which cars would have been going which was throughout the race. Early on in the race I saw the 24, the 20. It just seemed like all the guys in the top 10 were around us and were up front. It was a tough day, but we were able to come out on top."
YOU'RE TIED FOR THE POINTS LEAD. "I said it just sarcastically thinking that we could have come out of here with the points lead. There's so much work ahead of us. This was a great effort. To be able to pull this car back the same way and not run it at Richmond. We wanted to run it last week, but this one wouldn't have held anymore gas than last week. Last week is done and we're on to the chase and we've got week two coming up at Dover."
JACK ROUSH, Car Owner - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Taurus
POST-RACE INTERVIEW - "That was great that they had plenty of gas today and we didn't have any problems on the race track. A lot of cars fell out and I think it's a heartbreak day for a lot of teams. We were real lucky."
MATT KENSETH - No. 17 DEWALT Tools Taurus (Finished 2nd)
"I knew we probably weren't gonna catch him. Kurt had a great car today and he was really getting through the center of the corner really fast. I just couldn't get in like he did, so I tried to keep up with him as long as I could. After I ran a while my car would just pick up a push in the middle and spin the tires up off, so that was a great job by those guys and a great job by the DeWalt guys to get a good run today. We finished second and are in a good position in points. Now we'll try to win Dover."
WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE TODAY? "We didn't make a bunch. We weren't very good on a short run. Generally on new tires it was the same characteristic this car had at Richmond, but on the long run we seemed to be pretty good. I probably would have been a little closer. We were set up a lot different than Kurt, but he could just run a little better than us all day. Other than that it was a pretty good day."
ELLIOTT SADLER - No. 38 M&M's Taurus (Finished 8th)
YOU GAINED 4 SPOTS BY PITTING LATE. "Yeah, that gained us at least four spots. It was a great call by Todd again to get us a top 10. An eighth-place finish is great for us at New Hampshire. I'm not really that great here, so that was a good finish. The car is in one place. We'll take it to Kansas City now and if we can just do this every week - make all the laps and finish in the top 10 - we'll keep giving ourselves a chance to be there at the end and that's all we want to have."
YOU LED A LAP AND DID EVERYTHING YOU COULD. "Everything went our way. We did lead a lap and got five points, so that will count there at the end. We got the car a little bit too tight there in one stretch of the run and we fell back to 15th or 16th, but we came in and got new tires. It was a great call by Todd and if we do this every week, we'll be fine."
A BULLET DODGED? "Yeah, I saw Tony and Jeremy have problems and we just want to be consistent. We've done this all year - run all the laps we can. If we can keep being consistent and run all the laps, we'll keep ourselves in position where we can see the guys in front of us."
MARK MARTIN - No. 6 Viagra Taurus (Finished 13th)
"That's one bullet dodged. We got through it and we'll have better stuff going forward."
YOU PITTED THERE AT THE END AND DIDN'T REALLY LOSE ANYTHING. "We didn't lose anything. It just wouldn't run on new tires, so it wasn't gonna be good no matter what we did."
A TICK OFF TODAY? "Yeah, we didn't run very good, but that's a good way to start if off. I'm really satisfied with a 13th-place finish. That's a good way to start off. It could have been a lot worse. We got a lot of green-flag racing there and that's kind of what we needed for our car. It could have been worse under other conditions. We dodged that bullet and now we can do some serious racing for a while."
DO YOU WONDER WHICH CARS ARE AROUND YOU? A COUPLE CHASE CONTENDERS GOT CAUGHT UP TODAY. "It's no different this week than it's been all year. The same guys, the same hard racing. You go out there and you try to make the most of your opportunities and today we did that. That's all we had and our team did a great job. We've got one of 'em behind us and it wasn't a disaster, so we've got nine more to go and I think we'll run better at 'em."
WHEN THE 20 AND 19 GOT CAUGHT UP DID YOU SENSE EVERYBODY TAKING A DEEP BREATH? "I think it was the same racing as you always have seen myself. I don't think it's any different."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Roush Racing Taurus (Finished 20th)
"It was frustrating. We didn't get any race practice, so we just took a stab at it and it was actually pretty close. We started running pretty good and then I slipped up a couple of times and let a bunch of guys go by and then we got behind. Then I stalled it in the pits and went a lap down, so it's a pretty frustrating day. It's our worse day finishing in the 20th position, so if that's as bad as it gets we'll be alright."
ARE YOU CONSCIOUS OF THE TOP 10 GUYS OUT THERE? WE SAW WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE 19 AND 20. "Yeah, I'm conscious of it, but I just try to race everybody the same and don't worry too much about that. I'm getting a better feel for who is really racing for that points championship and that's helping, I think."
GREG BIFFLE - No. 16 National Guard/Subway Taurus (Finished 28th)
"It wasn't a real good day. The 31 car spun us out on purpose and NASCAR penalized him for a couple laps. That's the way it goes, I guess. It's just tough that people have to do that kind of stuff. I got into him by accident early in the race and he came back and spun us out on purpose and took two of the guys in the points race out. I feel bad for those guys."