Busch Starting Fourth at New Hampshire on Sunday

June 26, 2009

LOUDON, N.H. (June 26, 2009) - Kurt Busch will start his Miller Lite Dodge from the fourth starting spot in Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 after a band of rain showers moved through the New Hampshire Motor Speedway area and wiped out qualifying Friday afternoon.

"Man, we really had a fast Miller Lite Dodge out there in practice and I was hoping we could get qualifying in here today," said Busch, who clocked in with a lap of 29.149 seconds (130.667 mph) in the closing seconds of practice to post the session's fastest lap. "But starting fourth isn't all that bad. We were pretty good in race trim and didn't switch over to our qualifying setup until there were about 30 minutes left in practice.

"Tomorrow's two practice sessions will be key as to who wins here on Sunday," said Busch, fresh off a three-day bear-hunting trip in Montana where he admitted, "We didn't see anything that even looked like a bear, but it was a great time of chilling and getting ready to come back to the track."

"I asked Kurt if he could go bear hunting more often," chuckled crew chief Pat Tryson. "He's come back in here with that killer look in his eyes. Maybe it's good he didn't see a bear and spend all the energy there. It was one of the best practices we've had all year and all of our guys executed perfectly.

"We were pretty stout in race trim and switched over to qualifying trim with about 25 minutes to go," Tryson continued. "He'd turned in the 12th-fastest lap, but we had about six minutes remaining in practice. Kurt wasn't totally satisfied with the car. We made some changes and sent him back out with about a minute to go. Kurt drove an almost perfect lap on that run and there we were, P-1 on the chart at the end of practice.

"From what I've seen here so far this weekend, I'm pretty optimistic about Sunday," said Tryson. "We'll get a much better idea of how we stack up after tomorrow's two practices."

With the field set by the rule book, points-leader Tony Stewart will start from the inside-front-row spot here on Sunday, with Jeff Gordon second. Jimmie Johnson and Busch make up the second row. Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth round out Sunday's top-10 starters.

Busch's Penske Racing teammates Sam Hornish Jr. and David Stremme will start 26th and 32nd, respectively, in Sunday's race at the "Magic Mile."

Saturday's schedule at New Hampshire Motor Speedway calls for practice from 9:00 a.m. till 9:50 a.m. (live on Speed-TV) and from 11:45 a.m. till 12:45 p.m. (live on SPEED). Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 (301 Laps, 318.485 Miles) is scheduled to get the green flag at approximately 2:00 p.m. EDT. Race No. 17 of 36 points-paying events on the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule will feature live coverage by TNT-TV and PRN Radio.