Strong Finish Important for Busch
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on November 16, 2012 | 3:00 P.M. EST
Busch was seventh fastest in the 1st practice session. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
Although Busch missed making the Chase this year, he’s been very impressive during the championship stretch of the schedule. No driver has more Chase top five finishes than Busch, who credits the Joe Gibbs Racing team for the success.
“We obviously wanted to be in the middle of the championship this year and certainly in Victory Lane more often than we’ve been able to this year,” said Busch. “But we’ve worked hard and through some challenges that were out of control to hopefully end this season well and give us some momentum going into the off-season and next year.”
Busch has only one win this season in 58 starts across NASCAR’s top three divisions, that a Sprint Cup victory at Richmond. He’ll have three shots at the checkered flag this weekend at Homestead where he’ll compete in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series events before Sunday’s Sprint Cup main event.
While he plans on giving his all to rack up as many wins as possible, Busch knows succeeding at Homestead will mean overcoming past challenges.
“Homestead hasn’t been a great place for me, but I feel like running all three races at Homestead is an advantage for me this weekend,” Busch said. “In the other two races, you get your courage up running around the top, where it’s usually the fastest, so by Sunday you are just more comfortable running up there. Our cars have been really good there lately, so I think we have another shot of running well again and we can finally get that win.”
So far Busch has been stellar since the Chase kicked off with only two bad finishes (28th at New Hampshire and 31st at Kansas) and every other run seventh or better.
He believes another strong outing Sunday at Homestead and possible trip to victory lane will go a long way to warming the winter months as well as the 2013 preparation.
"You've got to continue to work hard and strive to get better,” said Busch. “For missing the Chase by what we did, yeah, we had a lot of technical problems, but I'm sure there were a few races where we could have finished better. So, we've got to get better every chance we get.
“These last 10 weeks have been pretty good. We've run well. We've been fast. We've shown speed. Maybe we've been third-to-fifth- or third-to-sixth-place cars. It's just a matter of continuing to evolve and getting better as a team and communicating, because this car is obsolete, so we'll work on all of that stuff in 2013."