Busch Looking To Add To Road Course Resume At Infineon SONOMA, Calif. (June 19, 2007) -- Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch won poles at both road course races during the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, led the most laps, and was in contention...
Busch Looking To Add To Road Course Resume At Infineon
SONOMA, Calif. (June 19, 2007) -- Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch won poles at both road course races during the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, led the most laps, and was in contention to win both races.
Yet, the record book shows only a fifth-place finish at Infineon Raceway and a 19th at Watkins Glen International as the results for his efforts.
"It was definitely the same old story it seems our team has faced so many times in that the results just did not match our competitiveness," said Busch, the 2004 series champion who has now driven Penske Racing-owned Dodges in 51 races. "We're determined to get that turned around and there's no better place to do that than this weekend's return to road course racing."
This weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway marks the debut of the new Car of Tomorrow models on a road course. Busch and his Miller Lite Dodge Avenger team feel they are well prepared.
"We've been looking forward to getting back to the road courses for a long time now," Busch said. "With the great test we had at VIR [Virginia International Raceway, the 3.27-mile road course located 12 miles east of Danville, Va.] a few weeks back [tested on June 6], we're unbelievably excited about getting out to Sonoma [Infineon] and see how we stack up this time around.
"I think that the braking is much better with this car [COT] than what we had last year and that's a big plus, I feel. With this car, there is no sense of the rear end lifting when you get into the corners. You can really dive in there and the car seems to stick really well.
"As big as the new car is, getting into the turn is one thing and getting through and out of it is another. It can really be a handful from the apex of the turn and out. But, I really like the feel of this car. In the road course races last season, it seemed like we were seeing the brakes go soft during the final stages of the races and that led me to believe that we might be facing some potential brake issues during the stretch run after the final pit stops had been made.
"My confidence level with the brakes we had last year maybe wasn't where it should have been. What affect that may have had on our lap times and how we charged the course, I guess we'll never know that, the way that things turned out. From what I've seen with the package we're running on this new COT, I'm confident that we'll be fine on that end.
"As strong as we were on the road courses last season, we're thinking we have the opportunity to get out there and have an even stronger Miller Lite Dodge this time around. It was a good feeling to finally get acknowledged for our road racing efforts last year. Because we've yet to win a Cup race on the road courses, I doubt that we're looked at as a favorite going into this weekend's race at Sonoma [Infineon]. But at the same time, I don't think it would be too big of a shock if we do really well out there."