|Kurt Busch is 12/1 to win Saturday night.|
How important is the Monster Energy All-Star Race?
“A little added pressure with Monster being the title sponsor. I’ve been with them the last seven years doing different things with their brand and them doing different things with me and the racecar. We have a lot of fun together. It’s one of those marquee events that I need to perform in. I go there with as much motivation as possible. The team has built a completely different car for this event. And then there are rule changes. This time around, I hope we can get the group around NASCAR, the TV people, the drivers, everybody, to get the fans excited. Hopefully as excited as that hot summer night years ago because that’s how different this rules package is going to be. It’s going to be pretty wild to see how it all plays out. I know at Stewart-Haas we built different cars and we’re going into this weekend with so much more to learn.”
How are the restrictor plates going to be at Charlotte?
“It’s going to be crazy. It’s going to box us all in like we’re at a superspeedway, but we’re at a mile-and-a-half. So, are guys going to be shoving into a three-wide hole when they know they can’t get out of it? That’s going to be the question.” What does it mean to you to be in the All-Star Race? “It’s a who’s who of the Cup Series. It’s a big honor to be included in that race. Those are the winners, the top percent of our sport. To win that race in 2010 was a special moment. To beat the best of the best, and then to receive a check for $1 million, that’s a great feeling.”
Talk about winning the event in 2010. What do you remember about that race? And what would it mean to you to win another one?
“The weekend was perfect. The car unloaded fast. We had an excellent pit stop during our run. We won the pole and it seemed like, in the race, we were the ones dictating what everyone else had to do because of the pace we set. That all starts with the trends that you’ve learned in the beginning of the season. That’s what is different about the All-Star Race and The Clash in Daytona. At Daytona, you’re coming off the offseason, there’s the buildup and excitement for another season and seeing what you’ve got. The All-Star Race is taking what you’ve learned in the first part of the year, applying that and trying to cash in on a big payday.”