Kurt Busch Returns To New Hampshire Recalling 2008 Victory LOUDON, N.H. (June 23, 2009) - According to Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch, the rain that cut short last year's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and led...
Kurt Busch Returns To New Hampshire Recalling 2008 Victory
LOUDON, N.H. (June 23, 2009) - According to Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch, the rain that cut short last year's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and led race officials to call him the winner after 284 of the scheduled 300 laps only helped expedite the inevitable.
"To this day, there are still a lot of people who don't realize the whole story when it came to our Miller Lite Dodge Team winning that race," Busch said of the June 2008 win, his third career victory on the relatively flat, yet very demanding 1.058-mile track. "In our eyes, it will always be a fuel mileage win. I don't think that the record was ever set straight about what all came down there during the June race last year.
"The bottom line is that we had a pretty good car that day," said Busch of the team's "PSC-574" Miller Lite Dodge Charger the team was debuting in the race. "It was the same car we raced at Richmond last September and ran decent with (finished 10th). We haven't raced that car this season, but its clone ("PRS-576") is the car we finished third with at Phoenix earlier this season and it's the car we'll be racing again this weekend at Loudon.
"Having that good of a car there last June put us in position to stretch our fuel a little bit," Busch continued. "When we could make it to the end on fuel, we pitted. We needed a few laps to help us. But we were gonna be loaded for bear and ready to rock n' roll if it came down to the end. When everybody pitted with, I don't know, 30 laps to go, when I was told, you're in the lead, there's 26 laps to go, that's the most motivation a driver could ever ask for because you want to hold it off and bring it home for your team. So we were gonna have our work cut out for us. I felt we could have held off some the guys right behind us, and our pit strategy worked out perfect.
"We're confident that with as strong of a car as we had there that day, with enough fuel to make it to the end and with a buffer of cars between us and the fast guys, we would have been able to win anyway. Had the race been run in its entirety, I feel we would still have won.
"So, it was really clear to us - just as clear then as it is now - regardless of the race being called as official due to the rain, we chalked the win up to Pat using great strategy," Busch said of crew chief Pat Tryson's calls from atop the pit box that day. "It really chapped us when we heard reports that we would not have won unless the rain came.