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

Friday, Oct. 21, 2011

Dodge Motorsports PR

Good Sam Club 500
American Muscle

Talladega Superspeedway

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Kurt Busch Open Interview

KURT BUSCH (No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge Charger R/T) AFTER THE EVENTS LAST WEEKEND AT LAS VEGAS, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW A DRIVER APPROACHES A RACE AT A TRACK THAT HAS A HIGH DANGER LEVEL?  “Yeah, it’s tough.  Those situations are very tough to absorb.  As a driver, you never want to see that happen.  We’ve been through this before with Dale Sr.’s passing, it’s a chance to make a movement to help all forms of motor sports.  I know those guys on the open-wheel side are going to try and look at all the areas to try and improve the safety and make this a benchmark for a good turning point like NASCAR did in 2001.”

HOW INTENSE IS TALLADEGA COMPARED TO OTHER TRACKS?  “This one is very intense on the mental part of it, on the draft and the two-car draft that we’re doing…the pushing and the leading.  It’s really exciting on that part of it.  Physically, this track isn’t demanding at all.”

HOW MUCH WOULD A RESTRICTOR PLATE WIN MEAN TO YOU?  “It’s an important nugget to have.  It’s something to try and accomplish as a driver.  I want to try and be as versatile everywhere that you can be and this is something definitely missing off my resume.   I definitely want one of these wins.  I don’t know exactly what it takes because I haven’t won, but you have to be in the right place at the right time.”

HOW DO YOU PICK YOUR DRAFTING PARTNER AT TALLADEGA?  “You have your game plan before the race starts, the friendships that you have.  You have the fast guys that you want to work with.  At the end, you never know when the final restart is going to happen.  If you’re lost and you’re the one man standing, you have to find someone as quick as you can.”

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PICKING THE RIGHT PARTNER?  “You just hope that you have a good list of them and that you have a couple of choices at the end.  If you’re out of choices and you’re the one guy without a chair when the music stops, it’s just like getting eliminated in musical chairs.”

DID YOU DO THE EFI TEST YESTERDAY?  “No, I didn’t do the EFI (test).  My first planned test for EFI is Martinsville.  That’s a track that I need more track time on, so I volunteered to do that one.  I know that it’s a work in progress.  All of the teams know that we need more time.”

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF MARTINSVILLE FOR YOU?  “The most challenging thing for me is everything.   A lot of guys say forward bite, getting that traction off the corner.  They say not burning up the brakes is important.  For me, all of the above are important.  I usually end up burning up the brakes and burning up the rear tires.”

WHAT MAKES MARTINSVILLE UNIQUE?  “Just that it’s the smallest track that we go on.  It was built in the ‘40s that challenged cars to run a full 500-laps on equipment and brakes.  You don’t have that problem these days.  It’s such an old-school track that it’s outdated in a sense, but it’s still fun to race there.”

ROBIN PEMBERTON SAID YESTERDAY THAT SOMEDAY RESTRICTOR PLATES MIGHT NOT BE NEEDED.  WOULD THAT MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE FOR THE DRIVERS?  “When you take out horsepower, whether it’s electronic or actual fuel-air ratio, you don’t feel any different on how it’s restricted, you just know that you don’t have it.  We need to be restricted at tracks like this to keep our speeds down because the tracks are too big, too fast.”

THIS RACE COULD PLAY AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?  “Yeah, this is a day where you really don’t look at anybody and how they’re running until the printout after the race and you see where you stack up against the others.  You hope that this time around when you number is rolled into the mix that you’re above the rest of the guys.”

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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