Martinsville: Kurt Busch preview

--Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch and his Pat Tryson-led Penske Racing Team will be racing their brand new PSC-560 Dodge Charger in the Goody's Cool Orange 500 action at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. "It's another one of the new ...

--Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch and his Pat Tryson-led Penske Racing Team will be racing their brand new PSC-560 Dodge Charger in the Goody's Cool Orange 500 action at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. "It's another one of the new 'second-generation' editions of our COT model," Pat explained. "We ran our first of these cars at Atlanta a few weeks ago and were fairly pleased with the outcome. We're confident we can get to Martinsville and be even more competitive, especially now that everything is back on an even keel. We're back up to being considered a top-10 team. Even if it were to rain out qualifying yet another time this weekend, we'd get to start in 10th and not way back in 36th. We're looking forward to a great weekend ahead at Martinsville."

--The pre-season agreement by Kurt, Pat and the Miller Lite Team to swap 2007 owner points with the No. 77 team saw the No. 2 team hauler parked in the most inconspicuous locations during the first five races of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. "We shouldn't have problems locating our team's transporter this weekend and that'll be a pleasant change," Kurt said with a chuckle. "My hat's off to Pat and all the guys on our team for showing what great total team players we have on our 'blue deuce' crew during the first five races of the season. It felt a little bit like being a world explorer every week, asking around and even calling Pat on the cell phone to find out where we were parked. When we did our media interview session at Daytona in the media center, I told them that it was probably the best for everyone involved for me to come to them because half of them probably couldn't have found our transporter in the garage if we had been doing the interview there. It was a pretty tough grind for Pat and the guys, but we all buckled up and weathered the storm. When I look back at the first five races, I'll never forget the Atlanta race weekend. Our transporter was parked way back in the far corner of the garage. It was actually a shorter walk from my coach to the transporter than it was from the transporter to the NASCAR office transporter. Maybe that wasn't all too bad. Seriously though, it was pretty difficult to see our guys have to work outside the garage area under a tent until qualifying was over. With the rain and all, some of the guys resorted to wearing rain boots and all because of all the grass and mud out there. Through it all, Pat and the entire team showed so much class. I never heard a single complaint from any of the guys."

Currently 10th in the 2008 point standings, Kurt, Pat and crew will definitely have better working conditions at the track beginning this weekend at Martinsville, the sixth event of the season.

--"We've had to come from deep in the field in so many races, we have to be leading in the most-cars-passed category," Kurt said of his first five races during the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. A quick look at NASCAR's current "Loop Data" statistical update shows that Busch has indeed been impressive in passing cars during the first five races of the 2008 season. He ranks second in total "green-flag passes" with 486. When told of that statistic, Kurt was quick to comprehend and comment. "Well, if we're second, I certainly want to shake the hand of the guy who leads it," Kurt said emphatically. "Anybody who has passed more cars than we have so far this season definitely deserves some kind of award." Don't be surprised if you see Kurt going out of his way to shake Robby Gordon's hand at Martinsville this weekend. Gordon currently leads the category with 534.

--"We've certainly passed a lot of cars (this season)," Kurt said. "I know that NASCAR refers to 'quality passes' in their stats as passes while running in the top 15. I know we can't be ranked very high in that category because in the first five races, we've spent the majority of the laps just trying to get up into the top 15. Hopefully, starting at Martinsville this weekend, we can really start putting up some numbers in that column." For the record, Kurt currently ranks 16th with 180 "quality passes." The top-five currently: Greg Biffle (312), Kyle Busch (283), Ryan Newman (276), Kasey Kahne (266) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (256). Last season after five races, Kurt ranked 17th in "Quality Passes" with 206.

-credit: pr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Greg Biffle , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Kasey Kahne , Kyle Busch
Teams Team Penske