Kurt Busch Headed to 'Dega Hopeful

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
Half-way through the Chase, Kurt Busch sits 7th in the points and -27 behind the current leader, with 5 races remaining time is crucial to make up ground. This weekend Busch and the No.22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge head to Talladega, hallowed ground for NASCAR, but the track is land of unknown and often misfortune for many drivers.

Headed into this weekend, there have been many distractions for Busch as rumors circulate that crew chief Steve Addington will be departing from Penske Racing at the end of the season. During today’s NASCAR media teleconference I asked Busch how he maintains his focus despite all this.

“I've been through it before with a crew chief that was leaving back in 2009, finished fourth overall in the standings, even had a shot to win it until the wreck at Talladega,” said Busch.

He continued, “we stay focused on what we have to do. It doesn't matter what the outside world says. We have five very important weeks ahead of us. Each week is the most important week.”

Looking forward to this weekend, Busch said, ”right now Talladega, practice on Friday, qualify on Saturday, race on Sunday, that's the best part, is going out there and racing.”

Putting that aside, Busch is focused on his Chase performance and not satisfied with the results he has had in the last five races.

“We're halfway through the Chase. We have an average finish of 11th. That's not getting it done. We have to bump that up,” said Busch voicing his concern with his season.

“Talladega is a place where you can have a good day and it can turn sour pretty quick. We just hope to make the right moves strategy-wise, make the right moves out on the track as far as drafting. If we can get a nice top five, and others find trouble, then we're right back in this Chase,” stated Busch.

The key for Busch and the team for Talladega lies is developing a strategy, many teams opts to drop to the back of the field to avoid the “big one” while others just go full force from the drop of the green flag.

Busch said, “well, a lot of our work will be done behind the scenes. You have to try to keep these cars as cool as you can with the new radiator package. We know we're going to be gaining speed by the restrictor plate side.”

With the new rules changes for Talladega, Busch has an idea of what to expect. “Handling might come back more into play. You'll have to adjust to that once we get to the track, see exactly what track conditions are, adjust from there. But a lot of it's going to be done on the fly. This really challenges the teams who can adapt the best in the heat of the moment.”
Kurt Busch Headed to 'Dega Hopeful Kurt Busch Headed to 'Dega Hopeful Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 Rating: 5