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Friday, August 12, 2011
Busch anxious to get back to Chicago

By Kurt Busch

What a weekend in Pocono! Despite a little rain and some minor tension on the track Sunday, we came out with a third-place finish. We qualified fifth and ran upfront with the leaders just chugging along leading laps.

We made a pretty bold move right before the big rain delay, deciding to come into the pits even though we sacrificed our top-10 position, because the adjustments we’d been making weren’t working as well as we’d hoped. The timing of the decision showed that the Penske guys were on top of their game Sunday.

Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch
It was a happy day for Penske Racing drivers Brad Keselowski, left, and Kurt Busch.
My teammate, Brad Keselowski, and I were on the front row for the restart after the hour and 40-minute delay. My car was really fast after the rain when the track was fresh. We battled down to the end, finished third and had a nice race with Jimmie Johnson. It was good, solid racing. Feuding on the racetrack can be very dangerous with such high speeds and multiple cars around you, but if you’re racing hard within reason and both cars finish where they were running like Jimmie and I were, it’s fine.

It’s a sheer adrenaline rush -- trying to beat that other guy no matter what position it’s for -- that’s what drivers live for, you want to come out on top. For now, I’ll just let things unfold with Jimmie, put a little message in my pocket to remind me, and focus on heading into this weekend at Watkins Glen.

I’m really excited to get on another road course and bring back the car that won at Sonoma back in June. I enjoy road course racing, and I want to try to check this one off the list. I finished second at Waktins Glen last year so I’m hoping to improve one position and make that trip to Victory Lane this Sunday!

With only five races left until the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup kicks off at Chicagoland Speedway, we need to remain focused and keep the one thing in mind -- grabbing as many wins as possible. The Sprint Showdown is something to keep in the back of my head as well. It includes a $1 million bonus that will be awarded in Atlanta, which is just a few weeks away.

I’m glad to see the Chicago Cubs are doing well and pointing the needle in the right direction after the trade deadline on July 31. I can’t wait to be back in Chicago, not only for the Chase to kick off but to soak in a Cubs game while I’m there. Especially when they are on a hot streak right now!

I just voted for the ESPN Chicago Hall of Fame. What a list to contenders, each with great significance to Chicago sports team success! I would have to say Michael Jordan is the most prolific sports figure in Chicago, leading the Bulls to six championships in the '90s. Walter Payton of course is a staple in Chicago’s football world along with Mike Singletary. Ryne Sandberg is my favorite Cub of all time; Ernie Banks ranks high up there, too. Bobby Hull dominated in hockey, and I have to give credit where credit it due: Frank Thomas could hit homers all day, every day.

Vote for your favorites here.