MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
FOOD CITY 500
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 5, 2019
KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 MONSTER ENERGY CAMARO ZL1 met with media and discussed the track conditions at Bristol, his expectations on the new package next week at Richmond, the start of the season thus far, and more. Full Transcript:
HOW WAS THE PJ1 (TRACKBITE) AND HOW WAS THE CAR WHEN YOU WENT OUT TO PRACTICE?
“As far as the spray and the rubber that they mixed in with it, as far as the drivers were told, it was going to be about four feet wide. I was measuring it. It was about seven feet wide. And then it just didn’t look as much as normal. And then you saw us all waiting to start practice today because again there’s traction compound but it takes heat to activate it and for it to actually work and stick. Nobody wanted to go out there and be the first car to go out. We needed the Xfinity cars to kind of rub it in and those guys aren’t even going in there right now. Interesting. Bristol, each time we come back here it’s like a brand new track.”
LOOKING AHEAD A WEEK TO RICHMOND, WITH THE NEW PACKAGE AND IT BEING A NIGHT RACE AND A LITTLE COOLER, HOW DO YOU THINK THE NEW PACKAGE MIGHT PLAY OUT THERE?
“I think at the short tracks, the center of the corner speed is going to be up and you’re going to have more grip on corner exit because of the downforce. And so I’m expecting the way that Martinsville went, that the cars are going to be easier to drive and they should stay underneath the driver longer. So, I expect a pretty good show here on Sunday and then next week at Richmond, because of the way the tire drop off is at Richmond, whereas the concrete tracks like Bristol and Martinsville, the cars don’t drop off as much. So, Richmond, I think, is going to be a really good indication of a ‘blast of the past’, so to speak, of what we wanted this package to be.”
YOU’VE BEEN A TOP-10 FIVE OUT OF THE LAST SIX RACES. YOU GUYS HAVE THE CONSISTENCY. ARE YOU PLEASED WITH THAT OR FRUSTRATED THAT YOU’RE NOT QUITE WHERE YOU PROBABLY WANT TO BE?
“I’m pleased with it. It’s been a good start with us teaming up with Ganassi and everybody that was on the No. 1 car and the results they had from years prior, I would say that we jumped into another category. And we also know we can go and grab another category, and that is to get those top-5’s. But right now, the Penske guys are really strong. The Gibbs guys are really strong. And SHR might be off just a little bit with the start of the season. And so when you’re trying to battle for top-5 spots and Penske and Gibbs have them on lockdown, that’s where we know we need to work at our own pace, find our own speed, and make both the Ganassi cars better. And, we’ll find it. We’ll find our spots to run really well and we’ll find some weak areas that we still need to fix. But, I’m pleasantly surprised and happy with the way the season has started.”
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE AT A SHORT TRACK BETWEEN YOU RUNNING THE FORD LAST YEAR AND THE CHEVROLET THIS YEAR? CAN YOU TELL ANY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CARS? YOU’VE GOT A NEW AERO PACKAGE, BUT ARE THERE ANY OTHER THINGS THAT COME INTO PLAY?
“I’ll learn more in race trim tomorrow with the low end torque. It seems like the Fords qualify well because they run well on the top end. And I think the Chevys run good on the bottom end. And, that’s just a small indication of what I’ve felt so far. So, the lower the rpm, it seems like the Chevys are a little different where the Fords are a little different at the top end of the rpm. There’s not all that much difference. At a short track like this, you can throw out the aero balance changes.”
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE INFLUENCE YOUR DAD HAD ON YOUR RACING CAREER EARLY ON AND HOW IMPORTANT HE WAS TO YOU TO MAYBE HELP YOU GET HERE?
“Yeah, my dad, Tom, committed so much to (brother) Kyle’s and my racing career. Mom was there every step of the way as well. And, my favorite story was when I was given a Go-kart for Christmas around the age of 7. The Go-kart wasn’t a toy as I thought it was going to be. It was more of a tool. And, he would only let me run it with him, with his supervision, of course. And, it would be on Sunday after we watched the Cup race together. If I didn’t watch the Cup race with him, then we didn’t go play with the Go-kart. And, so when I would watch the Cup race with him and then it was Go-kart time, then it was more of a tool and he would teach me about corner entry, the apex, corner exit; we’d get the stopwatch out and then he would take apart the carburetor sometimes and have me put it back together. And so it was more of a tool then it was a toy. And, from that beginning, I was only about two years into it, I was about 9, and I could run faster lap times than him in that little Go-kart because I was lightweight. I was probably 80 pounds and he was like 180. That’s when it started transitioning into being a bit more serious.”