Kurt Busch NASCAR Cup Series Preview - Indianapolis

July 22, 2008

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (July 22, 2008) - Miller Lite Dodge driver Kurt Busch says his biggest incentive to win Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, "is so obvious that it shouldn't need much explanation." But the 2004 NASCAR champ and 18-race winner just couldn't resist clarifying that point.

"This one's all about Roger and trying to win it for ‘the Captain' in our Miller Lite Dodge," said Busch, whose best finish in seven career starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway came in his first visit to the track in 2001. "We started off this season with that one-two finish in the Daytona 500, with Newman (Penske Racing teammate Ryan Newman) winning it with the help of a little push from us at the end.

"Roger and his teams had been trying for years and years to win the Daytona 500 and that part of the equation was filled in down there back in February," said Busch, who started sixth and finished 11th in last year's annual stock car race at the famed Indiana race track. "With the Daytona 500 now checked off the Penske Racing ‘hit list,' the Brickyard 400 is the one race that looms so large on the radar screen.

"When you look at all of ‘the Captain's' accomplishments and the records for Penske Racing, the significant major voids in stock car racing are a win in the Brickyard 400 and a NASCAR points title," continued Busch, who has won four races in his 91 starts as driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite/Penske Racing Dodge entering Sunday's return to the historical facility. "I know those are major goals for Roger and I want to be the driver who delivers the goods to him.

"We're looking at a win in the Brickyard 400 as our immediate concern, with that championship run coming hopefully not too far on down the line," said Busch, who has finished out of the top-18 only once and carries a 14.9 average finish in his seven Brickyard starts. "The Daytona 500 is certainly the crown jewel when it comes to NASCAR racing, but the Brickyard 400 runs a strong second.

"With Roger's success in the open wheel ranks at Indianapolis -- with 14 wins and 11 poles in the Indy 500 -- the significance of putting a win there in the NASCAR record book is certainly magnified. It would be a major accomplishment to be the first Penske Racing driver to score that victory.

"Everyone remembers just how close that Rusty came to winning at Indy," Busch said of Rusty Wallace, who competed in 12 races at the Brickyard for Penske Racing before retiring at the end of the 2005 season and turning over the reins to the famous blue No. 2 car to Busch. "Rusty finished second three times and nearly notched that big win in the record book.

"So a win there on Sunday would be as prominent and important of a feat that's possible," said Busch. "For me personally, it would be a thrilling experience I'd always remember and hold at the top of the list of my accomplishments.

"The bottom line is that I saw that gleam in Roger's eye in Victory Lane after finally winning the Daytona 500 back in February," said Busch. "There was that special look of extreme fulfillment. That's the driving force and the big incentive heading into this weekend.

"We want to see it again - that sparkle and look of achievement - that we could witness once more with a win in the Brickyard 400," Busch concluded.

This weekend's action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway gets under way on Friday with practice sessions scheduled from 2:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. till 4:30 p.m. Saturday's 10:10 a.m. single round of qualifying will establish Sunday's 43-car starting field. Saturday's schedule closes out with practice sessions scheduled from 2:00 p.m. till 3:00 p.m. and from 3:30 p.m. till 4:30 p.m. Sunday's 15th Annual Allstate 400 at the Brickyard has a 2:00 p.m. starting time and features live coverage by ESPN-TV and the IMS Radio Network.

--Kurt, Pat and team will be racing their "PSC-554" Miller Lite Dodge Charger this weekend at Indy. This car debuted on 3/9/08 at Atlanta, where Kurt started 29th and finished 11th. In its only other outing, the "554 car" was raced in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's on 5/25/08, where Kurt started eighth and finished 16th.

--Kurt is the special guest on Thursday's 3M Performance 400 Presented by Bondo teleconference advancing the 8/17/08 race at Michigan International Speedway. Kurt has won twice at MIS, including last August's edition of the 3M Performance 400. The teleconference is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. till 10:30 a.m. EDT. To participate, please call 800.763.6049 - conference access number is 21389080. For further information or questions, please call Deborah Robinson at 312.505.4336 or e-mail her at drobinson@vmg1.com.

--According to Kurt, a win in the Brickyard 400 and a championship are "major goods" that he wants to deliver to team owner Roger Penske. "With the Daytona 500 win back in February now in the record book, they'd certainly constitute a complete Penske portfolio on the stock car racing side," said Kurt. Much more on this in this week's advance.

--Kurt is set to do another "celebrity bartending" stint this Friday night in Indy. He is scheduled to be at Scotty's Brewhouse from 6:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. Friday, helping serve cold Miller Lites. Scotty's Indianapolis location is at 3905 East 96th Street. "This is a really cool place from what I have heard," Kurt said. "Scotty's has had a strong following at their college town locations in Bloomington, Muncie and West Lafayette and we'll have a blast at their Indy location there on Friday." For additional information, please call 317.574.0101 or visit http://www.scottysbrewhouse.com

--Kurt is set to introduce the Goo Goo Dolls, who will be the featured artist for this weekend's Miller Rock N' Racing concert at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The concert is set to begin at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Saturday at the stage located in the infield on Turn 10 of the road course. "It was a little tight on the logistical side when we pulled it off last year in taking to the stage and introducing Gretchen Wilson," said Kurt. "I had just climbed from the car only a matter of moments before and didn't even have time to change. So I still had my uniform and driving shoes on and we hauled it on over there. I think the fans really got a kick out of seeing me up there like that. I mean it was straight from the car to the stage. Just looking at the schedule for this weekend, it could turn out to be that same scenario that unfolds at the track on Saturday."

--In preparation for the Aug. 10 return to road course racing at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Kurt, Pat and crew are scheduled to be testing at Road Atlanta next Tuesday (7/29/08). "We like Road Atlanta because it offers a layout that pretty much covers it all," Pat said of the the 2.54-mile road course located in Braselton, Georgia. "It has the ‘esses' and 12 turns, including one that runs downhill."

--Kurt's visit to his souvenir trailer at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday will mark the 264th time in the last 268 races that he has been out on race days to