KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 2nd) WAS THERE AN AERO FACTOR AT THE END? "You hit the nail right on the head there. Our setup was somewhat odd last year. When we got beat in the fall race, we got beat out of turn one. This...
KURT BUSCH - No. 97 Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 2nd)
WAS THERE AN AERO FACTOR AT THE END?
"You hit the nail right on the head there. Our setup was somewhat odd last year. When we got beat in the fall race, we got beat out of turn one. This time we worked on turn one and got beat out of turn three. It's a compromise at Pocono. That's the uniqueness of this place and what you have to do to get around here competitively and to run up front. We just made adjustments all day. We could have got down on ourselves when we had that right-front swaybar come loose. We got it tightened back up and got back in. It's just a long hard fought day when you have to go back to 33rd and then come back up. The car wasn't all that great until right to the end. We put a wedge adjustment in the car and dropped some air pressure and it woke the thing up, just like it did at Bristol, Fontana and Michigan this year. I thought we could get him, but he was just too strong off of turn three and then down that long front straightaway." INDY IS UP NEXT. "Yeah, it's surely a bump up and a boost of confidence and it gets the whole team motivated, especially after the way we've been running. With our up-and-down flat tires, we had a blown motor, we had a shock go bad last week - we're just trying to keep digging and get back in this points race. Kenseth is starting to pull away and it's just a matter of trying to gather what we can out of all our finishes coming up. Indianapolis is a great track. I think it's the second-biggest race of the year, so we're motivated to go."
HOW IS INDY DIFFERENT FROM POCONO?
"It's a different setup, it's a different whole frame of mind. Indianapolis is the coolest race track that we race on. Pocono is somewhat of a test too, but you've got to be on you're A game at Indy if you want to be competitive."
IS IT HARD FOR THE DRIVER TO FIGURE OUT THE PIT STRATEGY?
"I try to be involved to a certain point to help us benefit on what I see on the race track with people pitting and different hand signals. The crew chief is ultimately in charge and the engineer gathers what other teams are doing and then I might throw in 10 percent input. So I stay involved just to stay on top of the game, to know when I'm supposed to push the car, when I'm supposed to go for it or when I'm supposed to ride."
TELL US ABOUT THE SWAYBAR?
"What happened is there's an adjustment on the swaybar to hold tension on a chain and when you roll into a corner, that chain tightens and it lifts the swaybar and actually levels the front nose of the car. It actually came undone, but there was still enough threads, so they could thread it back together, put a jam nut on there and go. It's just a matter of digging through it. Our day could have been done with that problem and it was great that pit strategy came our way and we were able to run towards the lead at the end of the day."
WHAT'S IT LIKE TO DRIVE THIS TRACK?
"It's a good question. With the way that this track challenges you, your setup changes dramatically as well throughout a run if your car is no good. You can start out loose and then get tight and that will help you in certain corners and hurt you in other corners. You can carry a lot of speed out of turn one and make passes going into the tunnel turn because in the tunnel turn you have to single-file yourself out, and then it's great to race through the flat long corner of three and four - the long corner and that gets you the run down the straightaway. As the race changes the track gets greasier and you have to adjust for it. This place challenges you to no end."
LOOKING AT RYAN NEWMAN, HOW DO YOU VIEW HIM?
"I've seen him be successful at tracks like Texas, Chicago and Pocono and you need motor at all three of those race tracks. He puts together a great package under the hood and he for surely has something in qualifying that none of us have been able to come up with or even trip across. Now with the more experience he gains, the better he's gonna be and it seems like the team is just jelling and being more patient throughout a race. It looked at one point like his car wasn't gonna be competitive at the end of the day and then, of course with fuel strategy it pushed a different group of cars up front. So he was in position to win. You've got to be in position to win. You've got to have the whole package and his team is doing that right now."