Motorsports: Chicago Bears
September, 8, 2011
By Kurt Busch | ESPNChicago.com
Todd Warshaw/Getty ImagesJoin Kurt at Rich Harvest Farms Golf Course in Sugar Grove on Sept. 15 for the SOPUS Charity Open.Well, we did it in the knick of time. We locked ourselves into the Chase this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway -- the second to the last race before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off at Chicagoland Speedway on September 18th. We ended up running the Sprint Cup Race on Tuesday of this week, rather than on Sunday because of all the rain down South. It was nice of NASCAR to push it back to Tuesday and let the teams enjoy the day off -- it rained all day Monday anyways. I went back home to Charlotte, got caught up on some emails and did some stuff around the house. The best "off" days are the ones which are unexpected.
In Atlanta, we qualified 10th and were running up there early on. As the track continued to rubber in and change on us we were just fighting with loose conditions and we were making as many adjustments as we could on the car trying to fix the problems. We just needed the extra time on pit road to make the changes, we even fell back to 21st at one point. Luckily, we were able to work our way back up this time. Most of the year once we had lost our track position, we were stuck back there. It was great to be able to rebound and work our way back to the top. Our pit stops toward the end were absolutely perfect. We raced up to third, got passed up on the last lap, and finished fourth. It was a run that showed our potential and what we can do if we execute plans the proper way and make the right decisions. The “Double Deuce” team was really pumped up after that finish and I couldn't have asked for a better way to lock into the Chase.
We've had a great regular season -- it's nice to not have the worry headed into Richmond. Of course, we still want to win, but nothing compares to the nice comfort and peace of mind teams have when the Chase is so close. Now we can use this race to our advantage and work out any kinks and make sure that Dodge is ready to win when we hit Chicago next weekend!
Well -- it's officially football season! I want to wish Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears an exciting and successful season. I also wish the best of luck to the NBA players and the meetings going on this week in NYC. This season belongs to the Bulls -- I know it.
On a side note for all the golf fans in Chicago, you can join me at Rich Harvest Farms Golf Course in Sugar Grove Thursday, Sept. 15, along with Shell Oil for the SOPUS Charity Open. You can get more information and register at www.sopusopen.com. You can also enter to win a Penske-influenced Dodge Challenger. You can register to win it at your local Pennzoil oil change location or log onto Pennzoil.com to get a game token. If you can't win that car, you can buy a raffle ticket through the Kurt Busch Foundation to win another awesome Dodge Challenger. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I'd be so happy to see both of those Dodge Challengers on the streets in Chicago.
Only one race remains between the GEICO 400 and the Penske Dodge next weekend. I can't wait to be in Chicago and really enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Hopefully it holds up through race weekend; my team can't take another rain delay!
Andrew Weber/US PresswireKurt Busch (22) will write about his love of Chicago sports for ESPNChicago.com
Hello Chicago – Kurt Busch here.
This marks my first post in a weekly series of posts from now until the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway this September. Many of you know me as the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, but off the race track I’m as big of a sports fan as anyone, especially when it comes to the Chicago Cubs and Bears. While I was born and raised in Las Vegas, my parents and relatives are from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago -- Schaumburg/ Arlington Heights area. With my ties to Chicago and no professional sports teams in Vegas, I became a diehard Cubs and Bears fan at a young age. And like any loyal Chicago sports fan, I haven’t looked back.
In the 1980’s I would rush home from school to watch the Cubs on WGN. When you’re 7 years old, sports make a big impression on you. Rooting for the Cubs and becoming a part of that devoted fan base became a part of my identity. When we would come back to Schaumburg to visit my grandparents, my grandpa and I would drive to the “big” city for a Cubs game at the ivy covered walls of Wrigley Field. To this day, I make sure to get in one game at Wrigley and at least one road game each season.
Like any Bears fan, I can still vividly remember the 1985 Bears season with Ditka and the Monsters of the Midway. I watched all the games and to end that season with the sweet taste of victory was just the best feeling. I couldn’t help but feel that me sitting at home in Vegas cheering for the Bears played a part in their successful season -- like WE won the championship.
This summer is flying by, and we’re already past the halfway point in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ‘regular’ season. In the last few weeks my team and I have been running great and been very competitive. Coming out of last weekend at Pocono Raceway, we walked away with a second place finish maintaining sixth place in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. This weekend we’re off to Michigan International Speedway. Michigan is Dodge’s headquarters and on Thursday I’ll be heading out to their offices for an event with all their employees. Friday I’ll have practice, Saturday is qualifying and Sunday is NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. I’m feeling like we have a great shot to bring home the win -– it will be about leading laps and putting ourselves in the position to walk away with the win.