Busch Returns to Daytona Looking for 1st Plate Points Win

June 29, 2011

Last Sunday's win at Infineon Raceway was the first road course victory for Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch. The win came in Busch's 21st career road course race and 11th career start at Infineon Raceway. It was career win No. 23 for Busch and came in the 23rd Cup race held at Infineon. The win ties Busch with Ricky Rudd for 23rd on the NASCAR All-Time Win list. Busch's victory was the 68th in the series for Penske Racing and the second of 2011. (Brad Keselowski won at Kansas.) It was the team's second series Infineon victory. (Rusty Wallace won in 1996.) With his win, Busch has now won at least one Sprint Cup Series race for 10 consecutive seasons, dating back to his first career victory on March, 24, 2002 at Bristol, Tenn.

Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch had to wait till the 16th points-paying race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season before he was able to win the discounted fuel for the fans. "It's been on my mind ever since we announced the campaign back in Daytona," said Busch. "Finally, it's a Wednesday that will be a ‘WINSday!'" The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver is not only racing to make the Chase, but he is racing to save his fans money at the pump throughout the year. This promotion - known as "WINSday" - will benefit Shell $aver Card holders by offering them a savings of 22 cents per gallon any time Busch wins a points race during the 2011 season. The savings will be available to cardholders who purchase Shell Nitrogen Enriched gasolines and Shell diesel on the Wednesday following his victory. To learn more or apply for a Shell Saver Card, visit www.shell.us/savercard .

Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch is entertaining suggestions as for the name for the "PRS-742" chassis, his Sonoma race-winning "Double-Deuce" Dodge Charger. Any ideas to pass along out there?

Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led "Double-Deuce" team will be racing their "PRS-632" Penske Racing Dodge Charger at Daytona this weekend. The car debuted in Busch's 2010 Daytona qualifying race where Busch started third and finished fourth. It is the same Dodge Charger that Busch raced in February's qualifying race (started sixth and won) and Daytona 500 (started third and finished fifth). The "PRS-641" will serve as the backup car this weekend.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 28, 2011) - Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch heads back to Daytona International Speedway for this weekend's Coke Zero 400 still looking for his first career points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup victory. After the successful 2011 Speed Weeks that the 2004 series champ enjoyed back in February, it's easy to understand just how much he is looking forward to returning to the "World Center of Racing."

"We were fortunate enough to win everything but the big one there in February and it was a great way to kick off our super relationship that we enjoy with Shell and Pennzoil," said Busch, who won Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway to score his first career win on a road course. "We wanted so badly to win the Daytona 500 for them and for everyone involved in supporting our Penske Racing "Double-Deuce" Dodge team.

"We had won the Budweiser Shootout and won our Thursday qualifying race so we had so much confidence and momentum rolling into the Daytona 500," said Busch, who will start his 43rd Sprint Cup plate race at Daytona on Saturday still looking for that elusive Cup points race victory. "The 500 is our Super Bowl and all the hype was crazy around our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team. No team had ever claimed all three Cup race winner's trophies in a single Speed Weeks.

"What a race," Busch recalled of this year's Daytona 500. "On that last lap, I just needed to stay on the bottom of the track and it just didn't seem like (Juan Pablo) Montoya could stay together and get enough steam built up on the run. I was in perfect position to win the race; running third and just made a mistake. It was tough. We came all that way and couldn't finish it off. We had to settle for a fifth-place finish, put it behind us and realize what the day meant from a big-picture perspective.

"So, yeah, it really was like leaving Daytona back in February with an empty feeling because we weren't able to close the deal and win the big one in the 500. We're coming back in there hoping to get that elusive win on Saturday night. With Coke sponsoring the race and being a sponsor of ours, that's extra incentive to take our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge to Victory Lane."

While Busch may have the immediate goal of finally winning a plate points race in Saturday's Daytona battle, he maintains the same "big picture" mindset that he had when he departed the "Birthplace of Speed" back in February.

"We certainly want to finally win us one of these things, that's for sure," said Busch. "But, we still have to keep focus on this season and what it's going to take to move forward in the effort to make the Chase this year. We need to win races because that will be so important come September. At the same time, we have to stay consistent in posting the top-five finishes and top-10s.

"My Dodge buddies told me last week that we've been the only team to have a top-10 points position ever since the season started and that means a ton to our team and to me personally," said Busch. "With the way our team was struggling back in April, I'll bet you'd have a hard time convincing a lot of people out there it was true. We've really been on a roll lately, with all the poles and finally getting the big win at Sonoma.

"The bottom line is that we have to go after more race wins as hard as we can, but still exercise conservatism, if you want to call it that," said Busch. "Unlike the guys back there in 15th to 20th in the points who can gamble on fuel mileage and roll the dice out there in every race, we have to look at it as the big goal of completing all the laps and getting the best possible finish we can in every race."

From looking at Busch's career statistics, it is quite the mystery that he has yet to win a points race on a restrictor-plate track. In 42 career starts at Daytona and Talladega entering this weekend's return to DIS, Busch has recorded 16 top-five finishes (including three second-place finishes and six thirds) and 25 top-10s. Overall in those 42 races, Busch has a 20.1 average start and a 15.1 average finish.

"As great of driver as Kurt is on the plate tracks, it's difficult to understand how he still hasn't won a points race there," said crew chief Steve Addington. "He's definitely one of the top-five plate racers and is really in his element out there. He knows what he's doing and it's incredible what he can do with his race car, especially when it comes down to the final few laps. We had such an enjoyable Speed Weeks at Daytona back in February that we're definitely looking forward to heading back down there for this weekend's race. The last month has seen us really grow as a team and I think everyone saw that with the solid weekend we had out on the road course last weekend. Hopefully when the dust has settled there on Saturday night, it'll be our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Tea