tampabay.com

Patience, then push help Busch at Bristol

By wire services
Published April 1, 2005


ATLANTA - When it comes to racing on the high-banked, half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway, there's none better than defending Nextel Cup champion Kurt Busch.

In his fifth full Cup season, Busch has run eight times at Bristol, the site of this weekend's Food City 500. He has won four, including three in a row in the spring Food City-sponsored event.

His secret, it seems, is being patient and aggressive, and knowing exactly when each strategy needs to be applied.

"It's a matter of protecting your race car at certain points and then being overly aggressive at other points of the race," he said.

Recent race stats indicate that he takes care of his car early on, then races hard when it counts. In each of his four Bristol victories, he didn't lead until after the halfway point, and his earliest lead was on Lap 359 in March 2003.

'80 F1 CHAMP JOINS NEW SERIES: Alan Jones, the 1980 Formula One champion, launched the Australian car to compete in the new A1 series being billed as the World Cup of Auto Racing.

MONTOYA OUT: McLaren driver Juan Pablo Montoya will miss this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix after injuring his shoulder playing tennis. Montoya fractured his left shoulder blade when he fell while playing tennis with trainer Gerry Convey in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday. Pedro de la Rosa, a McLaren test driver, will take the Colombian's place alongside teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

Meanwhile, Ferrari introduces a new car in Sakhir, Bahrain, in hopes of helping the Italian team overcome a tough start this season. After a modified version of last year's car captured just 10 points in the season's first two races, Ferrari aborted plans to continue with it for another two races. Ferrari is in fourth place in the team standings, 16 points behind leader Renault.