NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sprint All-Star Race
Topics: Sprint All-Star Race
May 16, 2009
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Matt.
We'll call up Kurt Busch and Joey Logano, please. Okay. We have our third place finisher in tonight's race and that's Kurt Busch, drives the No. 2 Miller Light Dodge. Rookie of the year candidate, coming in at eighth place, drives the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota, that's Joey Logano.
Kurt, first, your thoughts about how that No. 2 Miller Light Dodge did out there tonight.
KURT BUSCH: I thought we had an entertaining evening to run up front and race guys hard and not give up spots. All-Star type atmosphere, and to take our taste protector lid Miller Light Dodge to the front like we did and hang on for certain segments and then to put on some good pressure in other segments gives us a little bit of a good feeling and yet a little bit of sour feeling knowing we came home third.
But the good feeling is that our car seems to run a little better on the longer run, just doesn't pay anything when you have a 10-lap shootout at the end. And so for us to qualify second run top 5 all day and then to pour on some pressure at the end, definitely felt solid for our Dodge team and the horsepower that we built and the handling that we had.
It was right there, just couldn't quite take off. Took me about three laps to get going. And once we had that, then I felt like our lap times were very competitive.
But overall, good night. For us I was just hoping that the 17 and the 14 would duke it up a little bit and we would be able to come sliding through the smoke and hoist up the trophy. But not to be. And Tony did a great job tonight and so did Matt.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, your first All-Star race. Congratulations. You advance into tonight's field by winning the Sprint Fan Vote. Your thoughts about the fans, great support from the fans for you tonight and also you ran well.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I really gotta thank the fans for that one. For a rookie to come in get the fan vote, a lot of big names in that race to get the fan vote right off the bat, that was very surprising.
I gotta thank everyone out there. That was really big. And the first race I thought we were okay. Did a couple things to the car, I learned there, Zippy learned a couple things to work on for the next race.
Kept getting better. What did we finish there, fifth, I think. Once we started the big race we started to go to the front. I thought we had a really, really good car. Came in for our first stop, just a little bit tight. I said just free it up a little bit. And a little bit went a whole bunch on me.
So I was really sideways after that. I kept trying to tighten it up. Finally got it good the last 20-lap run, and check position wasn't there anymore. And I thought we had a better car than what we finished tonight.
So after all that, I was happy with the Home Depot team. They did a great job all night, and I'm looking forward to the Coke 600.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Kurt, you mentioned you were good on long runs tonight. How much confidence does that give you going into the 600 next weekend?
KURT BUSCH: That's the good news of it, and the fact that our car seemed like it would handle and the other cars would come to us the longer that we ran.
It's something that you don't know that you're setting up into the car. It's just sometimes the balance that you're dealt as you race. For a 600-mile race you definitely want to be good on the long run.
What we can't do to ourselves is when we get to the end of the race like it is right now, the track's cool. The temperatures have gone down. The lap times really pick up.
And that's where we struggled a little bit is to lay those quick lap times down when tracks cool off. So it gives us a little bit incentive on hey this is a good direction what can we polish up to make us even stronger for next week.
Q. Kurt, was this just a typical All-Star race with the chaos in the last 10 laps or was this anything different from years past and Joey since this is your first All-Star experience, obviously you've been in some Cup races this year, but did it feel any different out there on the track or was it that much different than what a normal race has been for you?
KURT BUSCH: This to me I really was excited about the format when they announced it. I think 50 laps to start off the race with a green flag pit stop separates who is going to be strong and who is just going to be hanging out.
And once you get into the 20 lap segments, the two of them, pit strategy is involved. Kyle decided that he needed two tires. A bulk of them decided two tires were strong.
And then we stayed out for the second 20-lap segment just for track position because I figured people would start to get a little dicy then.
But, yeah, that final 10 laps, nobody's holding back. Everybody's going for it. I applaud the format changes and everything that happened.
Were there no lead changes up front, yeah, because Jimmie Johnson had a dominant car early and I was holding everybody up in 2nd.
JOEY LOGANO: I had a blast tonight. I had so much fun. It was the most fun I've had in a Cup race so far, that's for sure. I think it's cool how it's 50 and 20 and 20 and 10. That was different. But I enjoyed it.
I was kind of lost out there. I was like what do we do now? Are we coming in? When is the caution out? What's going on? That was the rookie part playing in. I had fun. The last 10 laps was really cool, not counting cautions and everyone was going for the gusto out there. That was really cool.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|