Kurt Busch Wants To Join Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and Sterling Marlin As Back-To-Back Winners Of The Daytona 500by Camille Jones February 14, 2018 0 comments
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kurt Busch enters the week of the Daytona 500 feeling rejuvenated and ready to defend his 2017 victory in the The Great American Race.
Things are going well for the 39-year-old driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion. He’s experiencing happiness on the racetrack, as well as at home.
“Things are fun right now with my wife, Ashley, and the time I spend with her,” said Busch, when asked what was behind his revitalized attitude. “Monster Energy’s involvement in our sport. I’ve been a Monster athlete the last six years and it’s great to see them moving forward with different spots of advertising and it’s a fun fraternity to be part of, so it’s easy to smile.”
The 2017 Daytona 500 champion hopes to add another feather in his cap with a second straight victory at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. He admits that there is pressure to win again, but most of the pressure comes from his own expectations and goals.
“It’s a little bit of pressure, but, at the same time, it’s a great feeling because we accomplished something special,” Busch said. “I’m probably the one applying the most pressure to defend the Daytona 500 title because I want to go back-to-back like Sterling Marlin did back in the late nineties.”
Busch’s victory in Daytona was his sole victory of the 2017 season, as well as his only win at the famed track. If he does happen to cross the finish line first this Sunday in Daytona, Busch says he’s learned a few lessons from his first win in the biggest race of the year.
“I think I’ll do a better job of pacing the party this time around,” Busch said. “It was tough because we were just in that Daytona 500 spirit for so long afterwards and rightfully so. It’s the Great American Race. It’s the most prominent, powerful and prestigious stock car race and to win it was fantastic.”
However, Busch knows it’s time to look forward and focus on a new season in 2018.
Busch said, “Today is a day where I feel like it is time to shelf it and move on to 2018 and really focus in on trying to repeat, but also to just give the focus to the car, the team and the race on what we have to do to execute as a team. I think the key word is patience. You never know when it’s the exact time to go and you have to go with your gut a lot in this game, and last year I made the right move on the right lap and I hope to do that again.”
The 60th running of the Daytona 500 will broadcast live on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 18.
Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images