Sprint Cup
Team Penske
Subscribe    Print This Page   

Busch Looks Forward to Return to 'Flat Track' Racing

September 22, 2011

Photo Courtesy of Autostock



Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led Penske Racing "Double-Deuce" team will be racing their "PRS-761" Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "It's a brand new Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger" offered crew chief Addington. "It's one of the latest editions of our Penske cars. Brad (Keselowski, teammate) ran the new ‘760' last weekend at Chicago and this is the new ‘sister car' to that one. Kurt has had so much success at Loudon and we're looking to continue the great runs we've enjoyed over the last several races."

-Shell-Pennzoil driver Kurt Busch completed his personal goal of visiting every Major League Baseball park on Tuesday night when he saw the Los Angeles Angels defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-6 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. "Man, it's been a cool last 48 hours," Busch said when reached on Wednesday morning. "We've had a blast around the ball parks the last couple of days, that's for sure. We had the big Wrigley rooftop party in Chicago on Monday night, where we threw out the first pitch and led the seventh inning stretch. Rogers Centre is a really cool ball park and Toronto is a fun city. We hope to go back there some day when we have more time to check everything out. Anyhow, it's a neat feeling to have visited all the parks now. We can check that one off our bucket list now." You can expect some media followup focusing on Busch's love of baseball and his personal goal of hitting all the ball parks.


LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 20, 2011) - Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch is really looking forward to this weekend's SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. With a career record that sports three wins, seven top-five finishes and 11 top 10s, it's easy to understand the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion's fondness of the flat 1.058-mile track.

"With all the intermediate sized tracks we go to during the Chase, it'll definitely be a nice change of scenery to get back to Loudon this weekend," offered Busch, who heads into Sunday's second of 10 Chase races ranked fourth in the series' point standings. "The way that you have to slide a car around on a flat track like Loudon requires a loose setup and that's the way I like to set my cars up. There's always so much slipping and sliding and getting the forward bite we need is always so critical. Track position is really key and being up front on the restarts is so important.

"We've been on a nice little roll as of late, with the fourth at Atlanta, fifth at Richmond and sixth at Chicago," said Busch, who currently is 11 points behind leader Kevin Harvick, four behind second-place Tony Stewart and only a single point behind third-place Carl Edwards. "We've had a lot of good runs at Loudon over the years and hopefully we can continue to put up the good numbers there this weekend.

"After the last race at Loudon and coming off what happened in Monday's race at Chicago, you'd have to consider that Sunday's battle might just come down to a fuel-mileage deal, too. We weren't so fortunate in the July Loudon race as we ran out of fuel on the final lap. At Chicago, we picked up five spots on the last lap with so many of the guys running out.

"It's a frustrating brand of racing," Busch said of the fuel-mileage battles. "But it has become so common these days that you have to accept it and make the best of it. There at Chicago on Monday, Steve (Addington, crew chief) was on the radio after the pit stop with 60 laps to go already preaching to save fuel. We do what we have to do, but it just seems against the grain to be shutting the engine off through the turns and running half throttle for so long out there.

"But like I said, we'll do what we have to do to have a chance to win these things," said Busch, who won both New Hampshire races during his 2004 championship season, the inaugural year for the Chase format. "We're really looking forward to this weekend's race and think we have a great opportunity to do well there."

As much as Busch is eager to return to Loudon, crew chief Addington may be even more raring to go.

"Yes, I can't wait to get back to the race track and especially the flat one-mile at Loudon," said Addington, who will be atop Busch's pit box calling the shots for the 64th time in Sunday's battle at NHMS. "We're coming off the fuel mileage race Monday at Chicago where Kurt did just an incredible job of nursing our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge to a sixth-place finish. We're heading back to a track where we ran out of fuel on the final lap and fell from fourth to finish 10th.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't sleep well at all on Monday night after the Chicago race," said Addington. "We had a car capable of winning until like the final third of the race. We led the most laps and could run with anybody out there. We were going to do rights and a track bar adjustment on our final stop. I changed the call when Kurt came down pit road to only do the track bar and fuel. I said go just a tick too early and our gas man (Chris Williams) told me that he got it full, but not packed. Kurt just did an unbelievable job in saving fuel and we had plenty left at the end.

"But the biggest reason I didn't sleep well the other night was because of the way our handling went away there during the final third of Monday's race," said Addidngton. "The car just got so tight that Kurt couldn't keep up with the leaders and nothing we threw at it improved the handling. We had an 11th-place car and Kurt was able to save the fuel and pull out a sixth. We left the track after the race and I was pretty frustrated with how our competitiveness fell off at the end.

"The great thing is that we got the car back to the shop on Tuesday, tore it down and found the problem," said Addington. "The issue we discovered certainly explains why we lost the handling and strength we had earlier in the race. It was a huge relief to get to the bottom of it and find the answer to our problem.

"So, yeah, I slept well on Tuesday night and we can't wait to get up to Loudon for this week's race," said Addington. "I think we'll have a great shot at winning there on Sunday."

Busch, Addington and the "Double-Deuce" team will be racing their "PRS-761" Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "It's a brand new Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger" offered Addington. "It's one of the latest editions of our Penske cars. Brad (Keselowski, teammate) ran the new ‘760' last weekend at Chicago and this is the new ‘sister car' to that one. Kurt has had so much success at Loudon and we're looking to continue the great runs we've enjoyed over the last several races."

This weekend's action at New Hampshire Motor Speedway gets under way with Sprint Cup practice on Friday from 11:30 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. Sunday's 43-car starting field will be determined in Friday's 3:10 p.m. single round of Cup qualifying. Saturday's action includes practice sessions from 9:40 a.m. till 10:30 a.m. and from 11:30 p.m. till 1:00 p.m. Sunday's SYLVANIA 300 (300 Laps, 317.4 Miles) has a 2:00 p.m. EDT starting time. Live coverage of the race will be provided by ESPN-TV and PRN Radio.

# # #