KURT BUSCH - No. 97 IRWIN/Sharpie Taurus (Finished 2nd) - "It was really a fun day - just to pass a bunch of cars. We know coming into this race that you can't have trouble and the car needs to be able to race on the flat part and go ...
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 IRWIN/Sharpie Taurus (Finished 2nd) -
"It was really a fun day - just to pass a bunch of cars. We know coming into this race that you can't have trouble and the car needs to be able to race on the flat part and go underneath guys and maneuver. It's just a chain reaction. I believe the car in front of Brian Vickers just got real loose in the center, Vickers got loose underneath him. I tried to turn underneath him, but I did it too late though because Bobby was already heading underneath me. It was my fault and I spun my own car, but it's just tight quarters at the beginning of these races. We just had to work from there. We came up through the pack, I think we got up to 15th, and then I overshot my pit box just trying to gain as much as I could and we went back to 30th again. It was one thing just to try to be courteous to Rusty Wallace, but I overshot my pit and it ended up holding us up a little bit. We never got up front to really work on our race car. We thought we had it too free to pass cars and then once we got up to the top it was too tough to hang with Tony Stewart today. He was strong. We went for a three-peat. I'm real proud of our effort though. This is the same Irwin Industrial Tools Ford we bring to this flat track. I'm real proud of it. We'll polish it up and, hopefully, we'll be ready to go when we come back here in September."
WHAT'S IT LIKE RACING YOUR BROTHER FOR POSITION UP FRONT? "This track reminds me of our hometown track that we grew up on where the low groove is tough to pass on and the middle and high is the preferred groove, so I was thinking that. I'm like, 'Alright, Kyle. I know you're gonna try to look under Tony. Let's see if mine sticks on the top side.' I didn't expect to get Tony, but the car stuck for another lap and it went. It was fun racing Kyle. I wish the two of us could have duked it out towards the end - 15 laps to go. I know how hungry he is to win, but Tony Stewart definitely had the car to beat. It was fun. It was fun looking at him through the front windshield and looking at him in the mirror a little bit, too. Tony just had a strong car that was running smooth. We had an opportunity to pass, we took it, and he ended up getting back by us."
THIS WAS AN IMPORTANT RACE FOR YOU. "Unfortunately, we were in the same position that we were in last year at this point - 10th-place in points. But what's cool about the point system right now is that we were only 30 points out of sixth going into the day, and we're 100 away from 15th. Right now consistency is the key. I would have loved to have won today, but we're not on our last thread. It's the same feeling as last year. Let's run some races, get some nice, smooth finishes. Last year we broke our transmission at Pocono, so the driver won't have that chance this time because we're running fourth gear all the way around. That's it until our week off, then we just need consistent runs and that will help us."
IF YOU HADN'T HAD PROBLEMS EARLY COULD IT HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT WITH TONY? "It's good that we had a car that could come back from the struggles that we had early on with a bad pit stop and spun, but Tony was just too strong today. Our car didn't seem to have that nice feel to it on corner exit like we've had in the past to win the last two races here. That's where he beat us. The car got real tight on exit today and I was able to just get the lead for a brief moment to get those five points. I really pressured hard to do that, and he was just too strong at the end. If we ran up front most of the race, the two of us probably would have wore each other out for quite some time and who knows what would have happened, but it still looked like Tony had a strong car. They've run into something as of late. He's on a roll and it's hard to beat a guy when he's in that zone."
BEFORE THAT RESTART YOU PULLED UP ALONGSIDE KYLE. WAS THERE ANY COMMUNICATION? "Two purposes - one was to give him a thumbs up and let him know that he was doing good. We used to do that when we raced against one another. Secondly, his spotter asked my spotter if his right-front fender was OK. Sometimes you see teammates do that. I'm sure that Bobby and Terry (Labonte) have communicated with one another out on the track before, so I just gave him a thumbs up for running good as well as to let him know his right-front fender was OK because that's what he asked me to check out." WHY ARE YOU SO GOOD HERE? "It's really an effort from our team and the way we're able to adapt to the rule changes. This time around we had a gear rule that hurt us a little bit as well as the rear spoiler being shorter. I like to make the car very versatile here, where it can go on the flat part and race race cars and race side-by-side and not just worry about fast lap times. I think that's a key. It works like that at Bristol. You have to have a car that can maneuver underneath somebody coming out of the corners. It's the same thing here, you have to have a car that will maneuver underneath him in the center of the corners and it's fun to race like that."
CARL EDWARDS - No. 99 Office Depot Taurus (Finished 12th) - "We started out the weekend and were pretty slow, but the guys worked hard and got the car better and better. I was pretty proud of the fact we had a 20th-place qualifying effort, and at the end of the day to be able and come out with a 15th-place finish here feels really good. I'm really proud of my guys and it was a good day all around because things could have been a lot worse."