Transcript for 1-on-1 with NASCAR champion Kurt Busch
Hello every wine and you're watching ABC news live. If you're watching it in your NASCAR fan you're really in for a treat because I'm joined by one of the best Camby and Kurt budge what's happening think you have me time receive thanks for coming misses this is really special so. I have to ask you right off the bat you know you've won this so many times and I'm always curious each time you win does it feel different of that bill special. It does there so many different ways wins happen you know with teamwork. Of course picked crew can push you out in front of everybody. Or could just be that he found the right drafting partner at a restrictor plate race so there some in different ways to win. The first when there's always the most special. Scourge. I finally broke through in on you mated into the to the big time. And then my most recent win 31 of them later I'd be my little brother your brother Sarah ahead ray's snack in necking got to beat him and so. And over the years I felt like early my career. There's meaning me yes and now affiliates had an obviously respecting the teamwork and knowing the amount of effort that it goes into winning these races at. It's tough and you gotta have the full team effort. So when you are racing against your brother like are you guys talking before hand to you do you discuss anything or is it literally just. Peer competition. On the track. It really is pure competition. We do joke with each other a little bit back and forth. I mean what what what's hard to digest you know with the Manning Brothers or the Williams sisters and other sports they might go against each other every now and then. Mean my little brother of the bushes where his show every week and were both with top tier race teams and or able win races and there's those moments where there's those time on track yet where's OK this is brother might have to do something we'll of their friend. And I know he's think in the same thing but. There were thinking yard too far behind in NASCAR you got to the got to go their instincts. Absolutely yes I was watching that contract you when it was so clothes. How did he feel of the conversation. After he had the trophy and he does it. What we know what's funny is that big story that came out of that win and with me beating him. Wasn't there the racetrack finish it was we shared a plane ride together to get to the track that we can yes and you there you left me there. Like literally I had to bum a ride in my life accident stand there with a child and he read a bummer ride home and we don't honorary with some crew guys later on you're kidding me. Dead serious I really would I knew you and if my little brother he's got to pull those moves. Course he wants to win that's Valero when he doesn't when he's not the past he's not these support for like us. So what are your pre race rituals what do you do before you get and that kayak. What do you say to yourself. Offer me the day erased a starts. With 1 central location of the drivers' meeting to two hours before that drivers meeting where NASCAR goes over all the rules for the day it's mandatory that you have to be there. Everything before is served our sponsors. Meeting with the fans. And taking care of different hospitality events and being there was whether race fans and and there are other sponsors. Jars meeting happens and then after that is my time to zone in. Yet that's what I'm talking about what's that zone in Pratt and clear my mind outside thoughts and to focus in on the race notes for the day. How I race there last time. Go over any last minute notes with the crew chief the Timmy Collins shots like the head coach. And when I get dressed to have Turkey sandwich and relive my lucky Turkey sandwich no way to something settled in my stomach and all of those the pre race nutrition. And hydration has been done everything's lead in to that Sunday morning into the Sunday afternoon race that's amazing and then when it's. National Anthem for my helmet on ago while. Incredible. It's interesting because you mentioned the different famous siblings -- your family is sort of like the Manning family it's like you have your brother and then your dad also was. A race car drivers well rates you us yes so. What is it like at you know when you're growing up how do you understand that poking my family's doing it but I'm also good when was that moment when you realized. Here is your good as well. My daddy went to the track to win. Wasn't social hour and he I was too young to really go into the pits and hang out. But in the stands with my grandma has mom was there helping my dad. She was I was like listen its debts coming out gonna watch him and it was that intense focus. And when I was getting a little older. Mom kept pushing me towards Little League Baseball. I know racing for you get racing's too dangerous. And it took into those around sixteen years old to get into my first ever race that anything go cards first anything. And I finished fifth in the first race where you're driving an actual car CA uses the same no racing yet your life and your actual driving just aren't like them he had to have the driver's eyes ester race while. And I got to race against my dad. Right away because he helped me build a car that matched it is. So we can race is a fan land have some fun with it. And I peed in my second race ever. As I. And they have watched enough that is a separate meter race and it turned out perfect that of them it amid but then you know you go through the the mishaps as well like direct in my next two races. Bombs late OK this is the danger side of it and how did. Canton and back and knots like I just went in there went all out my dad Tommy tricky snow. Sometimes it's easier not to work on the card during the week in botched child directed this week just gonna finish sixth yes my. We mean finished sixth book and I did ahead of finishing seventh in that race. Cart and had a scratch on it Agassi isn't this easier as is a lot easier now we're off to work on it all week yes and so that mentality. Tommy how to protect the car. And then to stay out of trouble and find things on track to be successful with so when dad was a very successful races taught my little brother and I. Everything that he could teaches at that level of compass for the pros. Yeah I don't know if you've ever read like Malcolm Gladwell out liars but they talk he talks about those 101000 hours. Did they have to put in before you become an expert at some things so you growing up in it clearly. A master at what you do. Yeah I knew it was learned to work on the car first before I can even racist. And then there's times when you see different parenting and how if something broke you just go by new line. My dad my mom there know you're gonna fix it and put that time in investment back into. Making your car good again and no way no how to races differently in respective. Yes so now your line chipped a nasty Steen he made the transition what was that like for you switching over to his team. It's been fun refreshing start with a new team new crew members and then different. I guess situations because of pick crews young men sort of the engineers but a lot of the management has been around forever. And I think they wanted to a veteran driver to come in and with monster energy. That was key to helping to shore up some of the the loose ends on some of the sponsorship side but also a veteran to go after. That the track of course in the race but to teach the crew members. New skills and new things on the learning a lot from them too because there on the young and the things with the engineering side. As a perfect balance yet so we that's been one on most consistent years that I've ever had and it's due to that. I guess that schooling that were open each other through. Do you feel like the team when you first came on they were sort of star struck by you being there. That's star struck you know if I guess who gets back to that work ethic that my data taught me in that I was at the shop every day. I was reviewing notes already before the season started. The amount of depth that I like to go into their very surprised by and I could see that. I could see that I was pushing new things on to them many had to let it. He got a cultivated and let things grow and now I think we've done a great job to mature as a team from when we first started January 1. So it's into staying because. Here on this team he said you learn something. What is something that you've learned you've been doing this for over twenty years twenty years are over twenty years it's at Tony hint at what's funny and professional level and yes those twenty years. And you're still learning what is something that you learned about the sport now recently. I guess the easiest way to not confuse the answer and get into much racing jargon is that the engineering side. And how numbers are looked that as far as the car set up. The use Steve bit more old school where was a couple springs and a couple shocks. And the air dynamics were what they were. Now the aerodynamics have to match the springs and shocks with a torsion bars that are now pinned down on bump stops and then you have the rear suspension that has its movement and there's so many new things that. If you're with with a team for awhile he got to the top people keeping on top of that rate. But when you switch and have a different. Quick perspective change allow that's something new I didn't know about and I have to implement and implement that each week. Yes for sure. What moment the sticks out to use the most you have. Daytona in 2017 you have your first win in 2004 is there one that just you think about a year like oh my gosh this is lake. Be. Event that you know marks my entire career. You know those those sir are those that collect. Golden Gate Bridge in a sense for me where you have to work your way out and get to that peak. And then I didn't keep it at that plateau I needed to him. And there's some great wins in there at different road courses other short tracks and come back up and win Daytona. On that portion of my career. Many appreciate. All the other things that much more so. And I got mound doing good folded on that flat so here after the Daytona win and being contention for the championship. Great sponsor of monster energy now working back was Chevrolet. It's really need on console. I got that shape to it. Winning at Martinsville is one of the toughest tracks I gotta Jimmie Johnson's. Twelve wins there he makes it look easy. And when I wanna Martin's do a few years ago us. All right. This is this is oh win that is eluded me for a long while. It's a tough little short track it's easy find trouble. And then the coolest part is is you know grandfather clock. Really when you win there and see how this grandfather clock. And she is it was amazing to get that victory and that. Now reminds me of my grandfather that passed away what about the Talladega races. Talley has been tough on me and found luck to win there just yet. I led all the way until the last lap. Last October and ran out of gas is it that but he and you gotta have everything to win these races in NASCAR. The Fed like when you lose a race it it can't feel like a failure when you won so many times. Now that one stung pretty it did he have felt like I had one in the back yes and then it was it was great because in my interview I was. Again agitated and you can see my discussed and then this is this is how the world has changed social media. You know I get to my house and there's a gas tank sitting in my driveway so it left the gas can. Neighbors or watch in the race that occurred we thought if you could use a little extra gas and I'm now even more upset. I like Ashley's laughing. Now we posted on social media like my biggest post of the year oh my guest C without incurred yeah your neighbors giving you get thoughts about it. But. What is that so fun about this for you like after twenty years you've been doing it for such a long time. What do you enjoy about it the most. It's hard to pinpoint the most but there's some anything like the social side of it. Racing at the track of my brother. The fans have been incredible all these years. The new engineers to canoe crew members and teaching them some of my old ways but also my experience level. I really a joy out of helping them grow amateurism as crew members and fitting into that that leadership role more so now than just let young gunman just shot from the hip and his went four. Yen I imagine like when year racing a car that you can't be scared of much but I'm curious do you have any fears when you're out there there's so much adrenaline you're going. So incredibly fast what can you possibly be afraid of. Running out of gas and this is one of them. Yes no no there are no fears. For me I always. Make sure my wife feels my confidence. Before a head into the race and I'm always there she's always there and we're there's a connection of a kiss and a hug before and a teller I'll be right back. That there's no fear on the track with the speeder the danger or the problems that might lie ahead. Something that came up earlier today who is my statistics winning a lot early in my career of erecting a lot. Not seem to have found more consistency. And some of that comes with being smarter and understanding how to predict what happens at certain tracks. There are other sports but you're good at your mailing. On the track what else you get that. Put a lot of Little League Baseball mounted a kid just I know every visit as a mom yes yes here take this club that is able to play they say. I loved baseball song big Chicago Cubs fan OK I'm pretty good at based on wanna go to fantasy camp phenomena wait till I'm done racing OK I can steal little bit. I love archery. I am I in the military that's my my likened to tell me something and that's that bad people they might not know about you I love archery. That's pretty cool little bit of fishing and play a little big golf remember your golf and they get a basketball. And shoots and moves through my wife's better than I think at the end effect Atlanta this year that the game downstairs just Shih Tzu us that occurred. So my guess. So I I asked you about. The fear and I and in speaking of that I I have to bring up Jesse Combs. Lou who recently. Just passed. And what you you thought about someone who's doing what they love. And then an ending so tragically. In other the first thing that runs through my mind is is is rest in peace and she was going after glory going after something she wanted to do. And then act a quick jump to way to know what happened. Was it a mechanical failure. Something go wrong in the calculations. Did she have a driver I don't know and we don't know those facts just yet but. Two to lose anybody in nannies were. But especially the motor sport world. We were all there to help one another while there to support one another and she was going after she was on the gas hard as though we would say and she wanted to achieve those goals and pressed her soul yet -- sir yes. How do you know when to not push. Past a certain point. Enough for me and NASCAR NASCAR is a very safe sport I mean he that can be taken in a hundred different directions right. But for a land speed record she was trying to set at 600 miles per hour. That's very different than racing at 200 where everybody's around the same speed. Way of great safety in our cars. You know with the roll cage the seat. Hans device which are things she had as well but six are miles per hour stiffen its craze in 200 and we have safer barriers when we're racking we have different. Crash ads or immaterial. And that's why I wanted to say that NASCAR is a safe sport with things that we've done to implement safety over the years. It's helped all motor sport and that Hans device that I have I've started wearing a twenty years ago. That could've helped Dale Earnhardt senior. Withstand his crash impact better when we lost him in Daytona yet. It's a dangerous sport yet there is that glory there is that fame there is that adrenaline just want to feel and in others senators the side effects of. Yet for you how do you know windy it is the end like when year like okay I'm done I'm done all the races that I wanna do. And I think I'm finish now how you know when that moment. Has come. I don't know I don't know if I haven't found it and I have talked to so mothers who have have stepped away from the sport. And it's the same thing is when you find love is what they tell me it is no. Just now. And for me I love it I'm having fun I've got a greater east team a very supportive wife. And she's into her polo she plays he's an athlete. And she loves loving the life. And it looks Rwanda's I keep keep going because it's it's there everything makes sense to keep going and having fun with it and a and in general is there like that fire and a desire to do it and they get that trophy. Is still there. Yes so when it doesn't make sense anymore and you'll know and that's when it that's when an end to me enough of those categories hostile and yes yes yes yes. Before we go. I know that you met Sergio before we started someone a young a young teenager who who really loves and NASCAR in everything that you're doing what would you say to other young people who are aspiring. To be in a position that you are in right now. There are so many great careers in NASCAR whether you're driving. Your pit crew member lot of our pictures now are. Former athletes from the NFL lower. NCAA college football guys that. Didn't quite make the NFL and it's not all this agility in an action there now are pit crew. To help us get our pit stops Don and thirteen seconds. Engineering. Being a mechanic. Marketing. There so many different sponsor avenues to jump into it and I always say volunteer volunteer way up into a position. To meeting the nice gentleman I just meant he's looking to head to university. Northern Ohio who have tons of racing. Related programs and studies there's the NASCAR technical institute. There's UTI that can you work on boats in the marine world work on motorcycles in the two wheel world. There's so many different schools for motor sport and and that type of education that's artillery go first yet because then it teaches yourself on how hard. You want to go after this and you find that desire was and. Yes and before we go curt one thing that I really love that you do for a lot of your races as you give out these. Army veteran tickets. To people who they don't have to pay when they come right yes so tell me about that as I think it's incredible. Yeah I started a program Masako with the president of NASCAR. About our TV viewer she four fans in the grandstands and sponsorship and we joked around and said it's Bob butts in seats. And that's all slam military term of boots on the ground. And I bought a hundred tickets for every race. For our military. Veterans and current service members. It's available to them on that takes dot org while they know where to go get the tickets there's a hundred they're available. Tracks and doubled up to 200. Race fans have donated more for more of our military to bill the come to the track for free and enjoy NASCAR. I'm happy you came back and appreciate emulating any. And as you've been a lot seeing ABC news live thank you so much.
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