NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 6, 2014
CHEVROLET’S KURT BUSCH NARROWLY MISSES POLE AT POCONO
Six Chevrolet SS Race Cars to Start in Top 12
POCONO, Pa. – June 6, 2014 – Kurt Busch placed his No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the outside front row, missing the pole for Sunday’s Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race by just two thousandths of a second with a speed of 181.408 mph (49.612 seconds).
He joined pole sitter Denny Hamlin (Toyota) and third-place qualifier Brad Keselowski (Ford) in setting new track records that eclipsed the previous fast time set by Chevrolet’s Jimmie Johnson in August of 2013. Busch was the first of six fast Chevrolet SS race cars to earn spots in the Top 12 positions in the final round of multi-car qualifying at the ‘Tricky Triangle’.
This marks the first time in 2014 Busch has started in the top-five. He is joined there by his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick. The two-time winner in 2014 will start in the fourth position in his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will both start in the top-10 as they prepare to compete in 400-miles at the 2.5-mile track. Four-time Pocono winner, Gordon placed his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet SS in the fifth starting spot, while Earnhardt, Jr. will take the green flag in his No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS from the eighth position.
Austin Dillon was the fastest Rookie of the Year contender (179.326 mph) by qualifying 11th in the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet SS. Tony Stewart, a two-time Pocono winner rounded out the Chevrolet power starting in the top-12 taking the final 12th position.
The Pocono 400 is scheduled for 1p.m. Sunday, June 8th and will be aired live on TNT.
KURT BUSCH, NO. 41 HAAS AUTOMATION CHEVROLET SS – QUALIFIED 2ND
POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT:
YOU GUYS WERE FAST OUT THERE. IT SEEMED LIKE ALMOST EVERYBODY BROKE THE TRACK RECORD. TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN AND JUST HOW CLOSE YOU WERE TO THE POLE TODAY
“We came here with a new approach and to try to get out front ends to settle into the race track a little better. And this track can lead into finding some comfort with how smooth it is from the repave. I was really surprised that we had the speed for the pole today on just our first attempt at trying something a little different. So, it’s great to cash in. To be in position and advance through knockout qualifying is something that we’ve don’t this year, but we haven’t positioned ourselves for a pole run in that final grouping of 12. Those final 12, you’ve got to be spot-on. And after I made my lap, I felt like I left a little change on the track in Turn 1, a little pocket change. So, to come this close to the pole shows our car’s got some speed in it and hopefully that will translate into race day.”
DID THIS FEEL LIKE A MINI VICTORY BY HAVING SUCH A GOOD QUALIFYING RUN. YOU WON HERE IN AUGUST 2007. IT’S A DIFFERENT AND TEAM, BUT THIS IS STILL YOU. IS A WIN WELL WITHIN YOUR GRASP?
“The outside pole is great and it’s good for all day long on your starting position, your race sequence and your pit box selection. Our crew chief will get a nice pit box selection and that will help us with ease and congestion on pit road. And then as the race progresses, we just have to make the right changes to the car. I’m glad we were able to apply something new to the car this weekend and to see a good result right away. It’s not a big victory or a small victory. It’s just nice to confirm a change on the car and see it go the right direction.”
DOES HAVING A GOOD QUALIFYING RUN LIKE THIS GIVE YOU MORE CONFIDENCE GOING INTO THE RACE ON SUNDAY?
“Yeah, it always helps. If you don’t get the pole, it’s bitter sweet. But at the same time, the sweet side of it is that the car has speed in it. We’re going to be up against that No. 11 (Denny Hamlin, pole winner) and the No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) and it looks like the No. 24 (Jeff Gordon) is quick and our teammate (Kevin) Harvick and (Tony) Stewart, those guys made the final grouping. Speed and qualifying usually translates to race day and we hope to hang onto that. It’s our job to manage it on the No. 41 Haas-Automation Chevy now.”
YOU’RE ABOUT 13 RACES INTO THE NEW SEASON WITH A NEW CREW CHIEF, A ROOKIE CREW CHIEF AT THAT. WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN WITH DANIEL KNOST SO FAR THIS SEASON
“It’s been great with Daniel to watch his growth and to see him come up through the different challenges that come to a crew chief. I’ll never know all the things that his been through but I can see the progress that he’s made and just his overall confidence and how he’s able to direct orders to the team and how he is able to absorb my feedback and to then take the next step where I think he can be better is delegating more work. Daniel likes to do everything himself. And in this game, there is so much work that has to be done with templates and car set-up and shocks and springs and sway bars. He has to rely on the talent of the guys around him and that he’s positioned himself with. So, that’s our next step is being able to allow the crew members to know that we’re going to grab another gear during these summer months and advance as a team together. It hasn’t been the results that we’ve wanted so far, so we all know we can work better and harder and we’re going to make this No. 41 car faster.”
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES