After falling out of the Chase last weekend at Dover, Kurt Busch says that despite not continuing on in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, he and his team will still run the remainder of the season for pride and for wins.
The No. 41 driver of the Haas-Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing put up a valiant fight during the AAA 400, but ultimately, Busch fell six points below the cutoff that would have allowed him to advance to the second round of the Chase.
Now, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion has one goal moving forward, and that’s to get as close to victory lane as possible. And this Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway is his first chance to do just that.
Read on to learn more about Busch’s mindset heading in to the weekend.
Q: What makes Kansas Speedway unique?
A: “The track is very smooth and it’s fast, so you can be aggressive with shock control, sway bars and other things. Kansas is definitely its own animal, but it compares more to a Michigan and the smoother racetracks that we run on versus the rough ones like Chicago and Atlanta. Kansas is unique in terms of how the wind changes direction from day to day. So, turn two might be a problem one day and turn four might be a problem the next day. I’m expecting that we’ll have high speeds like we had in the spring. The track will be fast. Cars will definitely be on edge.”
Q: Talk a little bit about this race last year. You started from the back of the field after going to a backup car, but you came home second.
A: “It was nice to finally put a checkmark under the top-five box at Kansas. It was, in a way, a small victory to finally get that second-place finish. We battled hard to come from 41st in a backup car. It was a treacherous race, it was cool out and the tires didn’t quite have the heat in them, so patience was key. But, at the same time, restarts were where I was able to make passes. I found some patterns in the way that restarts were shaping up, and I was able to apply it.”
And here’s one more from our vault of Kurt Busch Q&A. Happy Thursday!
Q: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened during a pit stop?
A: “I had the air hose get caught between the wheel and the rotor therefore the heat of the rotor cut the hose. Then they couldn’t get the wheel back off because the hose wasn’t delivering air to the gun. The hose then whipped around with air coming out of it and everyone was scared to touch the hose. Meanwhile we basically became the last car of the lead lap.”