Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kurt Busch: Coca-Cola 600 almost like a hometown race for every driver

Kurt Busch is 30/1 to win Coca-Cola 600.
KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

What are your thoughts about the Coke 600 this weekend? 
“This weekend’s race is a big one and, being that it’s here in our backyard, it’s almost like a hometown race for everybody. All of the guys who work at the shop and don’t get to go to the track on a weekly basis usually get to come out and see all of their hard work on display. You want to really put the banner up for your team.” 

What do you do to get ready for what is the longest race of the year? 
“It’s just a marathon mentality. It’s the exact opposite of the All-Star Race. The race starts during the daytime and, even if you’re getting behind early in the race – although you can’t get too far behind – it’s difficult to find a setup that works well at both the beginning and end of the race because of how much the track changes from start to finish. It’s the end of the race, though, when they hand out the points and the check, so you hope your car will race the same way at the end as it did for the All-Star Race, provided you had a good All-Star Race. The mentality is that it’s just pit stop after pit stop with long sequence after long sequence. The All-Star Race is a 100-yard dash. The 600 is a marathon.” 

Talk about the 2010 Coca-Cola 600, when you had such a dominant car. 
“Well, to start, we just missed out on the pole. That’s one thing that sticks in my mind. You know how racers are – we want to win them all. That race, we were so good in the daytime that I was scared of what was going to happen when the sun went down and the track started to change and how the race would play out. I mean, you never really have a good car at the beginning and have it stay underneath you for the nighttime. It’s just the way you’ve always seen that race play out. But that car was that good. It was what we saw with it in the All-Star Race the week before. It was fast during both of those weekends. So it’s amazing how you can stumble across little things that make all of the difference in the world. Again, I was leading the beginning of the race just pacing myself. The car was so good in the daytime and I literally thought we would end up a lap down at night because cars never stay the same as the race goes on. But it worked out and we got the win in the 600.”

Chassis No. 003: Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 003 in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Built new for 2017, Chassis No. 003 saw its first laps May 9 and 10 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, when Busch and the No. 41 team participated in a Goodyear tire test. It will see its first laps of competition in Sunday’s 600-mile race.

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