“It is a challenge coming in here sometimes,” Busch said. “You think you can have a fast race car or you think you can have a good race car and unfortunately something out of your circumstance can take you right out of the running for a good finish. We’ll see how the weekend plays out, but overall I wouldn’t expect much out of practice or qualifying. It’s pretty dull in those times, but once you get down to the race and see how the two-car draft will work out, that tends to make things a bit interesting.”
During the NASCAR Sprint Cup practice he hooked with other drivers and had the third fastest time 49.434 (193.713) in his No. 18 M&M Pretzel Toyota.
Earnhardt Gannassi driver Jaime McMurray and Juan Montoya has had some good runs at Talladega Superspeedway. McMurray won at TSS in 2009 and in his last five races at TSS Montoya has two third place finishes and one second place finish.
“Get in front of them and let them push you,” Busch said. “Use that horse power to your advantage. That would be the most important thing to. Overall, those guys have been really good here the past few times and been pretty decent at Daytona as well. It is an interesting aspect the way been able to that good here and win here. We kind of saw it in the early 2000’s when the RAD program came about and those guys were always good. They seem to have really good engines now; their cars have been a lot better, too. Our stuff is really good, as well, we just feel like we haven’t quite been in a position that we needed to be in. We try to hang back to stay out of trouble, sometimes that hurts us and it is just a matter where you are on the race track on the final restart, whether with inside five (laps) to go or the last lap.”
Since 2005 Busch has only two top 10 finishes at TSS. He was victory lane here in 2008 and he finished ninth in the spring race last year.
He believes racing at Talladega is more mentally demanding than other track they race at during the season.
“Here, the physical demand isn’t that big of a deal,” Busch said. “You can run all day long and not break a sweat. Once you get down into the nitty gritty of the race and try to play the chess game that goes on all day you’ve got to really pick and choose your spots and thinking all the time if you go here and team up with this guy. It really wears on you a little bit mentally – kinds of makes you tired. The other thing is the two-car drafting and you’re pushing each other; you’re more worried about not spinning that guy out than anything else. You don’t want to do that. You’re up on edge most of the time just making sure you don’t get that guy’s left side of center of his rear bumper and cause him to turn sideways. I don’t know if you call that racing, or what to really call it really, but it’s definitely different dynamic here at Talladega and Daytona now than what we’ve had in the past.”
Busch said spotters are important at a track like Talladega Superspeedway where you do two-car tandems.
“You can’t see a whole lot,” Busch said. “You can’t really see through the rear glass of a guy’s car because the way the sun hits it. Even if it’s a cloudy day, you might not be able to see through it. The spoiler are so high that you have limited vision is so small that you really not going to make out a whole lot if you even if you could see through it with the spoiler. You tend to try to look over the roof of a guy’s car through the corner and try to see what’s going to happen down the next straightaway. That’s when you rely on either the guy in front of you to talk you through going around guys or passing or you rely on your spotter. If you have that guy in your radio and you are pushing that guy, he should be on the radio, “Okay, low, low, middle, middle, high, high - he kind of talks to you where you are going so you can stay on him and not take a chance of spinning out.”
Radio communication is vital if you are going to have success with two-car tandems. He said in most cases he would like to be connected with a teammate, but that may change this weekend.
“I think this week, Ill just leave it to first come, first served,” Busch said. “Whoever gets on my radio first and ask me, they’ll be the guys I work with. Other than that, you hate to say no to somebody because you might make them mad. You have to realize and understand that there are 43 other guys out there that all want to work with somebody, so you are not going to be the first guy all of the time.”