KURT BUSCH-97-Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 3rd) "We're ecstatic about it, and we've got heavy hearts in the back of our minds, trying to continue forward. Jack's just an incredible individual. He's given me so much in my career, the least I could...
KURT BUSCH-97-Rubbermaid Taurus (Finished 3rd)
"We're ecstatic about it, and we've got heavy hearts in the back of our minds, trying to continue forward. Jack's just an incredible individual. He's given me so much in my career, the least I could do would be go out and win a race for him. So, we're going to continue to press forward. Things were great today. It just seemed to flow together. We learned some things in the draft, obviously, from 2000, 2001, and it's just been a matter of time, working with these guys, developing the repoire and working towards the front. I knew we had a great car. The Fords seemed to be balanced with the Chevys, the Pontiacs and the Dodges. They just weren't balanced with the DEI cars. They're strong. We've got to figure out what they're doing. I tried to get rid of Michael Waltrip about 30 laps to go, maybe it was 60, 70 laps to go and Dale Jr. ran the top line, everybody gathered it back up. It's just a hard race. You're just trying to take away aliases out there, and that's teammates, and we even struggled with our teammate at the end of the race, he just didn't seem to want to go with me to help out, and so I tried to put things that I've learned together and move forward and we ended up with a third-place finish."
WAS IT ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO GET UP TO THE 8 CAR TO CHALLENGE HIM?
"It wasn't impossible, it was great part on DEI workmanship to get those cars up front and for this cat here, Michael Waltrip, to stick behind him and have the 98 up there messing around with them. It was something that could be dealt with. I ended up roughing up Michael a little bit. I apologized for that, but I'm trying to isolate one of the DEI cars out of there so that Junior could be worked upon. And it was just a struggle to do that. Those guys are strong, they've got it figured out, and like I said, there was a balance between all the four cars."
YOU GOT TOGETHER WITH DALE JARRETT NEAR THE VERY END. HOW MUCH DID THAT HURT YOUR CHANCES?
"It's tough for me to recall that event right now. With six to go or four to go when the green dropped, I knew what my objective was, I understood what I had to do, I didn't look at any particular car, except for the red one and the blue one up front, whether is was a white one or a yellow one next to me, I don't know. And what I was trying to do was stay attached to those two Chevys. I don't remember us getting together. It didn't seem to slow either one of us down. He still finished top-10, he may not've. I don't think he'll be upset with what happened. I don't really recall that event. It really wasn't anything that led to the final outcome, I don't believe."
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE WRECK HAPPENED?
"I was ahead of it. I saw the 29 and 31 together the lap before. I really don't know what happened. My car, I was positioned on the inside lane, which might not end up being that good when the cars swerve off the wall and come down low. For us, we were lucky to get through unscathed."
ON THE FORDS WORKING TOGETHER.
"It was awesome. I saw the 12, the 6, the 99, the 77, we just all lined up and went, and I'm like, 'Wow, this is odd. I've never seen this before. By 12 laps later it was done with, but I did see the same thing that you saw, and that was with us Fords working together. It seemed like once we all just decided that, hey, 'If I push this Ford, I'm going to help my own Ford and that Ford behind me is going to go.' And it worked. It worked for a good segment."