Solid Start For Busch

Kurt Busch comes into Sunday's Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings and looks to continue his good start to the season in front of his hometown family, friends and fans.

After two races Busch trails point leader Matt Kenseth, who won the first two races, by 91 points. He is only 10 points behind second-place Jeff Gordon.

Although in the mix at the top of the standings, Busch knows how special it is to race at his home track no matter where things stand in the championship race.

"You could say that I have a race win scale that’s based on what I feel is the level of prestige associated with a particular victory,” said Busch. “It’s a given that the Daytona 500 is our biggest race – it’s NASCAR’s ‘Super Bowl,’ that’s for sure. You’d have to put Indy and the Brickyard (400) as second on that list, just because of the incredible history the facility hosting the race has."

“In my mind and on my personal scale, I have to put a Vegas win as next – as the third most prestigious on the list. There are a lot of big races out there. You can’t deny that the Coke 600 is big -- really big. A win at Darlington is certainly special from an historical angle. Man, what about the August night race at Bristol?"

“I know that I’m pretty biased when it comes to racing in Vegas and I think most people can understand that. They may not agree with it or appreciate it that much, but they can understand how I feel.”

The good start to the year for the Penske Championship Racing team is due in no short measure to how pleased the group is with the performance of the new Dodge engine.

“We brought this car out the first time last August at Michigan and it was a solid top-10 car for the first half of the race,” crew chief Pat Tryson explained. “We ran it in four races total last season and it showed strength. We’re hoping that the positive trend we started with our race setups Sunday at Fontana will continue this weekend in Las Vegas.”

“We’ve been extremely pleased with the engine,” Tryson said. “We continue to see gains all the way around with it. There’s additional horsepower there and more to be found, we hope. The great thing for our Penske Team is that we helped introduce it during the final part of the season last year. We were able to address a few minor glitches here and there and it’s been smooth sailing since then. Every week that passes, we get more and more comfortable about the engine’s strength and durability.”

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