Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus, comes into the weekend with a 24-point lead over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Busch spoke about today's weather delay and how he views the next five races of the ...
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus, comes into the weekend with a 24-point lead over Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Busch spoke about today's weather delay and how he views the next five races of the season.
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Taurus
IS THIS A CROSSROADS RACE TO SURVIVE?
"This one is definitely a wild card and is as large as Talladega. The way that this race plays out most of the time is you get an entire sequence of guys that pit within 50 laps and then the rest of the field stays out later until about lap 120 to pit, so it seems you're always behind the eight-ball when you're a conservative team that has to make sure that you put on four tires each time and to make sure that you have to top the fuel off each time. So it just never feels like you're gaining any kind of track position until the end of the race and you hope that the end of the race plays out in your favor."
IS THIS AN ELIMINATION RACE FOR SOME TEAMS?
"This race pays just the same as the next one. It's 190 points to the winner and it's the sixth race. We're halfway through and I believe a playoff system is an elimination-type series where you have one bad game and that puts you behind, but you can come back from that. You could be down 3-0 and make it back."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE BULLSEYE IS ON YOUR BACK?
"I would say that we've got more of the upperhand. We've accumulated the most points. Don't forget, we were down by 30 going into this because we finished seventh overall. We could have been fifth overall after Richmond, but we ran out of gas just trying to gamble. That was a situation where we could afford to do that because we were locked in, but now it's a matter of executing every race to the best of our knowledge."
ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THE CONSISTENCY YOU AND YOUR TEAM HAVE DISPLAYED DURING THIS CHASE?
"We've done a phenomenal job getting through these first five, which we thought would be a bit rockier for us. I hope that when we go into these final five we don't overlook anything and that the team stays focused in that direction knowing we can do better in these last five than the first five."
DO YOU FEEL THIS IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE A THREE-CAR RACE?
"This is a race where it could knock the top three out and it could be a 10-car race. It could go either way. For us, we just need to work on our program of being conservative and making sure that we don't step out of the box and continue our consistent runs. If we've got an opportunity to win, we want it. We want it bad at the end of the day."
WITH THE WEATHER THE WAY IT IS TODAY, IS THERE SOME COMFORT THAT YOU TESTED HERE AND HAVE SOME IDEA OF WHAT THE TRACK IS LIKE?
"Yeah, it's odd to see the radar show nothing and to have this type of weather hitting the ground. Knowing that we tested, that's great. We're first in points, so that would give us an opportunity to start up front and it's a situation where we want to see what our test gave us. We want to go out and make race runs and see if we can get better because we know this track was just resurfaced and there are so many elements that we don't know about."