MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
SOUTH POINT 400
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY MEDIA PLAYOFF DAY
SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 GEARWRENCH CAMARO ZL1 – ROTATION HIGHLIGHTS:
DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE A SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP BY NOW?
“I would have thought. But again, it’s a matter of piecing it all together and putting yourself in position to have a shot at the championship. And it’s not a given. It’s not a guarantee. There are those good years, where you have plenty of speed in the car, but it might be this other weakness; maybe pit road or not quite having the horsepower you need. It’s an amazing balance of chemistry to piece it all together and have those shots at championships. And, man, you can say that it comes once every five years or once every four years, but it’s a matter of just piecing it all together. And I think this year, with the clarity and the heart and the drive of this No. 1 Monster Energy Chevy team, this is one of the strongest years, I feel, going into the Playoffs. It’s been a long time, but you’ve got to piece it all together and put yourself in position.”
“I feel like everybody’s goal at the beginning of the year is to be a race winner with multiple race wins. We haven’t quite done that yet. But again, we use these first 26 races on the No. 1 car to grow as a team and to build that chemistry; to win races, to lose races, and to build us up to get to this point. I feel like we’re in that spot that we wanted to be. So now, it’s a matter of executing through these ten weeks and being consistent. And so, I like where we are. Early in the year we exceeded expectations and now we’ve just got to get to that consistency level to surprise people as we move through the Playoffs.”
DO YOU FEEL YOUR TEAM IS A LITTLE BIT OF AN UNDERDOG AND PLAYING WITH HOUSE MONEY RIGHT NOW?
“You could say that but I also feel like yeah, we went to the cashier and we cashed-in our chips, and now we’re wanting more. We want to push in and we know we can be a contender if we go and balance the things we need to do as a team. And that’s to execute with clarity and consistency and confidence. This first round, there are a lot of things that can happen in Vegas, Richmond, and then the Roval. I think once we clear that, that’s when we start moving towards the championship run that I know we can put up.”
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF YOU AND KYLE, THE BUSCH BROTHERS, WERE HALF OF THE FIELD AT HOMESTEAD TO GO FOR THE TITLE?
“You know, it’s not one guy you can focus on because then you’re focusing your attention in the wrong area. It’s always about what team you’re racing for. So for me, the No. 1 car, getting our team through each of the rounds it’s like who is going to be there at the end? Don’t really care. It’s a matter of the No. 1 car performing and beating anybody that shows up for the championship.
SO, IT WOULDN’T BE NEAT TO BATTLE YOUR BROTHER IN THE FINAL FOUR?
“With (Kyle) Larson, my little brother Kyle (Busch), it would be fantastic. It’s just a matter of getting to that point. And I think if we have Media Day leading into Homestead, that’s when I would focus and embrace that uniqueness of challenging my little brother or my teammate for a championship.”
ON WHERE THE TEAMS STACK UP
“We know at Ganassi that the team to beat is Gibbs right now. With the Penske guys as well. Hendrick is in the mix. And SHR. That No. 4 car, they’re sneaky. They always show up when it’s on the line. And so again, it’s still just focusing on your own car and your own team. And no matter who pops up and/or when, you beat them with consistency in these first couple of rounds of the Playoffs. Vegas and Richmond will teach us a lot about the Playoffs and as things unfold, we’ll see. We’ll see if we’ve closed the gap. At the same time, you’ve got to focus on the strengths with us, on the No. 1 car, and that’s consistency.”
HOW UNPREDICTABLE IS THE ROVAL IN BEING A CUTOFF RACE?
“With the Roval, Talladega is in the next round, it’s not a cutoff. But then there’s Martinsville, as well. So, each round has that unique wild card race and you hope you’ve got the bonus points built up and the consistent finishes so that way you’re not sweating it. And you’re not on pins and needles trying to ask for a good finish when things can go haywire. So, you’ve just got to build up toward having that cushion and that insurance policy when you get to the Roval.”
HERE AT LAS VEGAS, GOING INTO THE EVENING, HOW MUCH DO YOU EXPECT THAT TO INFLUENCE THE RACING?
“It’s going to be big. I think the engineers are looking forward to the cool track conditions, but at the same time, it’s still going to be 120-degree asphalt temp and the Turn 3 and 4 areas will be in the sun most of the race. Turns 1 and 2 will be in the shade. So, I don’t know. I like the balance of going from day to night. It reminds me of Kentucky, and we won that race a few months back.”
YOU’VE NEVER WON HERE AT LAS VEGAS? DO YOU THINK IT’S YOU OR THE SET-UP OF YOUR CAR OR WHAT?
“I’ve always been on the gas too hard here. I just need to settle-in and let the race come to the team and not put too much pressure on the guys and on myself. It’s about coming in loose and confident and executing as a team.”
WHAT’S THIS 10-WEEK STRETCH GOING TO BE LIKE?
“It’s a matter of just pacing yourself. Each and every day is a lead up toward the race weekend. There’s the workouts. There’s the nutrition. There’s the extra sleep that you need. And you focus. Right now it’s a date in September, but I know that November 17th is that key factor of pacing yourself all the way to Homestead. And that’s the goal. It’s just staying consistent and staying smooth and not getting ahead of yourself.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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