Inside the Chase: Double duty

Published November 13, 2005

There are basic differences between Nextel Cup and Busch series cars in wheel base, width and horsepower, but for many, driving a stock car is all the same. That's why an increasing number of Cup drivers pull "double duty" when the series are racing at the same track on the same weekend. A Saturday Busch race is, in essence, an extended practice. For the 10 drivers in the Chase for the Championship, that added seat time can be critical in finding where the racing line is, how characteristics change during different times of day, or how tires wear.

Carl Edwards, who won Saturday's Busch race from the pole, said the gains are well worth the time.

"These are the races where the Busch series is really paying off. If I can go out there and run laps in my rental car before the Cup races, I would. Just to get time and maybe see something, because the way this championship is shaping up, it could be one point that wins the championship, and any advantage you gain is good."

Edwards (third in points), Greg Biffle (fourth) and Matt Kenseth (sixth) competed in the Busch race at Phoenix International Raceway. Kurt Busch is the only Chase driver not to race in the Busch series since the playoffs began.