Dodge Motorsports Notes & Quotes – Kurt Busch Open Interview – Phoenix 2

Friday, Nov. 12, 2010

Phoenix Int’l Raceway

Kobalt Tools 500
American Muscle

Kurt Busch Open Interview

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series                 

KURT BUSCH (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) TALK ABOUT THE 2004 CHASE?  HOW BIG A DEAL IS IT FOR THREE DRIVERS TO BE IN CONTENTION TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?  “I hope that the switch has been turned on for the last few weeks because it’s been a great Chase.  The more guys that are in it, that’s what creates this excitement and the element of the unknown.  Keeping up with one guy or two guys, three guys, it’s just exciting and we should be talking about it now.  It shouldn’t be saved for next week.  Any year that we saw a breakaway guy, you’d have one or two guys – Dale Sr. (Earnhardt) or Rusty Wallace or you’d have Jeff Gordon against somebody that was right there close. This has the makings of ’04 and ’04 had the makings of what it was in 1992.  It’s what everybody likes to see, a great point’s battle all the way to the end and it’s just not the final race, it’s the weeks leading up and how they’ve handled the pressure for the weeks leading up.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ROGER’S DECISION TO BRING CHEVROLET BACK TO THE INDY 500?  “That’s big news.  I know that Roger’s always been committed.  And just like he is in the NASCAR world, the best quality products, people and support of giving his best shot – not at just winning that one big race over there – but running the full season and trying to wrap up the championship.  The way the last couple of seasons have ended for him, I know that he has this bitter sweet feeling of, ‘Man, we need to do something just a little bit different,’ and hopefully that brings him the pieces that he needs.  Everybody at Penske Racing wants to see our programs successful.  It was great to have the feeling back in September when we had the IndyCar, Nationwide and Cup car situation where we all had a shot at the championship.  Right now, it looks like we’re only going to be able to deliver on one-third of that.   Roger is pushing hard.  He wants to be the man in all of motorsports.  He’s my mentor.  I love looking up to him and whatever he decides to do in the IndyCar world and stock car world, I’m there to support him either way.”

HOW COMFORTABLE WOULD YOU BE IF ROGER BROUGHT IN ANOTHER MANUFACTUER INTO NASCAR?  “That’s one thing that we discussed when I re-upped with him this year early in April.  When I signed my contract extension I said, ‘Well, I know we’re going to have to see a new or extended version for the manufacturer.’  I said, ‘What are your plans? What are your ideas?’  The bottom line came out, wherever you are Roger, I’m with you.”

TALK ABOUT YOUR LAST FEW RACES WITH MILLER LITE AND MOVING TO SHELL/PENNZOIL NEXT SEASON?  “It’s been a great run in the Miller Lite Dodge.  It’s tough to sit here and think of words to describe what it’s meant to me and what it’s meant to the group up in Milwaukee.  When I first started to feel it is when I put on the Shell driver’s suit for a photo shoot, getting things ready for 2011.  You’re sitting there thinking about the good times, what the Miller Lite car has meant to so many NASCAR fans.  To have Rusty (Wallace) run in it for so many years and have a shot at championships and race wins.  And for me, just a quick five-year run, it was definitely feeling comfortable at the end.  I felt like they were my shoes to wear and representing the Miller Lite brand and the fun that we had off the track and the fun that we had on the track.  It’s tough to see it go.  We’ve got two more weeks.  It would mean the world to me to go and win one of these final two weeks and spray beer all over each other because if you get gasoline in your eyes in victory lane, it’s going to sting a little bit.  Beer isn’t so bad.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOU SEE THE LAST TWO RACES IN THE CHASE SHAPING UP?  “What I like about this year’s Chase is that we’ve added two guys to the element of the pressure cooker of what it takes to be a NASCAR champion.  Since the Chase has started, myself, (Jeff) Gordon, (Jimmie) Johnson…all the years Johnson’s be in it…we had Mark Martin come down to the wire.  We’ve had Tony Stewart…the ’05 champion…he’s felt the pressure before.  A guy like Greg Biffle, he finished second overall one year and was right in the mix until the end.  So now, we’ve added Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick to the list of individuals who have experienced what it takes to go all the way down to the end, have a shot at the championship…to have the restless nights…to have the endless thoughts of how to make the car better or how to drive it out on the race track to stay out of trouble.  It’s fun to see those guys go through that experience.  Being one of them, it’s neat that I can see a little bit of it.  You don’t get caught up in the games that go on; you just go out there and race your car.  It we do have a new champion, that means that somebody knocked Jimmie Johnson off, that’s going to be big.  That name will always be printed right after you have Johnson’s four times and a row.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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