Talladega II: Kurt Busch - Dodge Friday interview

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger) ON BRINGING THE COT TO TALLADEGA "There is going to be quite a few unknowns throughout the weekend. It is going to be difficult to get the car exactly perfect because it is a new car and nobody knows...

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Avenger)

ON BRINGING THE COT TO TALLADEGA "There is going to be quite a few unknowns throughout the weekend. It is going to be difficult to get the car exactly perfect because it is a new car and nobody knows exactly what to expect. I think it will be more of the same but different, if that makes any sense; how the cars will draft and how easy it seems to lose that draft. It will be interesting. The cars do have a more comfortable feel out on the superspeedway. I think what it is going to come down to is pit strategy. Do you have enough fuel to run a couple laps further than other cars? If you have a slightly slower pit stop than the pack that you pitted with are you going to lose the draft after you go back out there? I think the team that stays on their toes and is able to adapt the best to all the changing conditions will have good run this weekend. I enjoy the restrictor plate racing and maybe one of these times we will be able to crack into victory lane."

WILL BUMP DRAFTING HERE BE DIFFERENT WITH THE SPLITTERS "It will be interesting to see how the side drafting comes in to play. The cars really line up well nose to tail, you can bump draft really easily. Yet NASCAR has the "no zones" through the corners and through the tri-oval. So you don't want to be bump drafting in that area. With the old car side drafting was really important. You could dump a lot of air on somebody's rear spoiler and slow that car down and actually allow your car to pass another one side by side. It will be interesting to see how the wing reacts to that. Are we going to be dumping all that same air onto a wing and getting the same effect? Those unknowns are there. It is just a matter of going through practice motions."

ARE THERE ANY DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY RYAN NEWMAN RACES YOU WITH YOU RUNNING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "No everything has stayed the same. We're relatively under the same influence that we always are with the way you race your own race. You know you have a teammate out there and a guy that you can trust to bail you out. Let's just say we're going four wide and I get kicked out of the lead and going backwards in a hurry he might be the first one to stick his nose out there and gather me back up so that we are able to maintain the draft together. I would do the same thing for him if that happened. You always build your relationships at restrictor plate races and to have a teammate out there like Ryan and my little brother, you always count on a few guys to help you out. Whether you are in the Chase or not it still seems like the same scenario where every man is for himself when it comes down for the win."

IS THERE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FEAR OF BEING IN THE BIG ONE HERE AT TALLADEGA? "There is the risk that you always take when you jump into a race car and go 200 mph. Whether it is at a short track or intermediate or here at a superspeedway there is always that danger. The level is heightened here at Talladega and Daytona just because the cars are in a pack. They are always drafting and one little slip from one guy can collect 15 different cars. You hope that you're in front of the big one or you're far enough behind it to stay out of it. I would like to say that we have run really well here in the past and we've been able to finish good because we haven't been in the big one. It is a fear that you know is there but you don't think about it all that often unless you see things getting anxious. When drivers are making very aggressive moves you start to sense that it is getting exciting and you start to bail out so you don't get caught up in it. There is a lot of things that you can't control out there and that is part of restrictor plate racing in this era."

ON LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY "They started a cycle at Lowe's Motor Speedway that will take a few years to really play out. They ground the track the first time and then they ground it a second time and then they had to repave it. When you repave a racetrack the asphalt is fresh, fast and at the same time very slick. You hope that it matures as quick as it can. Right now Goodyear brings a conservative tire for us at Charlotte and it makes it difficult to get the car dialed in. It is a very tough track. It seems like cars that were good there before still are good and the guys that struggle are still struggling. That race for us will probably be the toughest one for us in the Chase just because I don't do all that well at Charlotte."

ON VILLENEUVE TRYING TO QUALIFY HERE "I remember the procedure and the thought process when I first came in. Do I have enough experience? Do I have the credentials to be able to race at a restrictor plate race? It seems like he's got those credentials and that access very easy compared to what some other drivers have done in the past. They have to have short track race usually. Then you graduate to a mile race track. Once you do that then you bring an ARCA car to Daytona or Talladega. That would have been the right way to do it if I was Bill Davis Racing. But they threw him right in the fire. That is how Jack Roush did it with me when I first started. That is what Jacques is going to have as far as his atmosphere around NASCAR. We will see how he does. There is so many elements here that are out of your control I don't think throwing in another rookie has anything to do with it."

HOW FITTING IS IT THAT TALLADEGA IS PART OF THE CHASE? "It definitely has been exciting the way that the Chase format has developed over the years and to have 10 races in the Chase. Those 10 races have a different magnitude and the excitement level is just through the roof. You through in Talladega where it was already a prestigious race and the excitement level was through the roof. It really builds. This race is very important. To have a good race in the Chase as well as a prestigious race to win. Anytime you get a chance to win at Talladega it's very important."

-credit: dodge motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Jack Roush
Teams Bill Davis Racing