KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 3rd) "It was a valiant effort from the crew and my side and Jimmy Fennig.Â It was one of those days where we just had to see how the race was gonna develop.Â With our car being fairly quick,...
KURT BUSCH --97-- Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"It was a valiant effort from the crew and my side and Jimmy Fennig. It was one of those days where we just had to see how the race was gonna develop. With our car being fairly quick, it would run consistently throughout the run and there was one of those runs where we stretched in on fuel mileage a little bit. We put ourselves in position in case this thing went to fuel mileage, so it's great to have a car that can maneuver lap time-wise and be able to generate us into a different pit strategy or another available one.
"That put us a behind a little bit, but we were able to catch back up. I noticed the time we lost by staying out was something that might bite us at the end of the day. And, of course, with 100 laps to go there was a caution and I knew that was a perfect number to almost screw us, so to speak. We would be good for 65 laps and then it was like a light switch would go off and the light would go out because our car would lose all kinds of forward bite after 65 laps. I thought about short-pitting and doing two 50-lap segments, but I didn't want to try to convince Jimmy Fennig too much.
"I know he's the wizard behind this operation and we got a third-place finish. It was great trying to defend for three in a row. We're on a roll and we're gonna try to carry this momentum right into Phoenix and Homestead and, of course, right into January when we start testing."
YOU ARE IN THE TOP FIVE IN POINTS. "We're on fire and it's great to carry this momentum. Whether we won today or got a top five, it just feels great to have the consistency that we're putting together. It's just a full effort. The guys are steady on pit road, we're steady on the track, I can't wait for 2003."
WHAT ABOUT JOHNNY FINALLY WINNING? "It's magnificent. He's steady and put forth an effort with 226 or 227 races he's started and to be as competitive as he has been and put together a streak together like this at the end of the year after he was hurt, it's awesome to see Johnny Benson do that well."