Thursday, May 20, 2010

All-Star Race Notes and Quotes: Kurt Busch and Martin Bringing Stout Chassis'

"The only difference is that if you get in a tight situation, you may force the issue. When you are points racing, you have to think about it. If you are three-wide in the middle in a points race, you kind of realize that somebody is going to lose at this and you might back out. In the All-Star race, I think there is a mentality if you are in that three-wide situation that you might just go ahead and try it and see what happens. I think that is where it changes and I think everybody out there feels the same way. Still, the only way you are going to win is to finish, so you can’t just crash, but you don’t have to worry about points."

The 2010 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will be Martin's 21st start in the non-points exhibition, which is the most for any driver locked into this year's field. Martin missed the first five all-stars before making his first start in 1990. He has raced in every event since then, collecting two wins, seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has started from the front row twice and finished inside the top 10 in five of the last six races.

MARTIN CHASSIS CHOICE: Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-527 for Saturday's race. This is the same chassis that Martin drove to Victory Lane at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway last May and at Chicagoland Speedway last July. Martin drove 5-527 to a sixth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year.

JAMIE MCMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #070. Crew Chief Kevin "Bono" Manion and the Bass Pro Shops team have elected to bring Chassis No. 070 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for the Sprint All-Star Race. This chassis was last used for the 2010 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This chassis also ran in the 2009 spring events at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway and in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where it finished 10th, 25th and ninth respectively.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #906. Crew Chief Brian Pattie and the Target team have elected to bring chassis No. 906 to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend. This chassis was used in the 2010 season’s second event at Auto Club Speedway where Montoya qualified on the outside pole but had an engine let go forcing a 37th-place finish.

"The consequences of this race are so different than any other weekend we have once the season gets started and that’s really refreshing," offered Busch, whose runner-up finish in the 2003 event rates as his best finish to date in eight career All-Star Race appearances to date. "If you don’t finish the race, you don’t lose any points toward the championship. Then, we really seem to usually race each other this hard after that final restart on all the sanctioned tracks we run on. It’s just that we have the feel at the All-Star Race where if I go for broke and they have to fix the car, there are no points involved and at least they know we were going for broke in trying to win it.

"You jump into the All-Star Race and it’s just a whole different atmosphere and attitude," Busch said. "This race is just an entirely different animal. It’s a 10-lap shoot-out at the finish, with a cool million dollars on the line. You can bet that things will surely get heated up and there will be fireworks for sure. You have to be really smart in the first portions of the race. But, you have to have a car that will go at the drop of a dime when you have fresh tires and a restart. It’s basically like those last 10 laps are like 10 straight qualifying laps with other cars around."

KURT BUSCH CHASSIS CHOICE: Busch and his Steve Addington-led Penske Racing "Blue Deuce" team will be racing their "PRS-702" Miller Lite Dodge Charger this weekend at CMS. This was the car that debuted in winning fashion last November at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch and crew last raced this car at Las Vegas back in February where they won the Coors Light Pole Position and had a strong run going before getting innocently caught up in a crash.

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