October 3, 2001
A REFLECTION ON KURT
BUSCH'S ROOKIE SEASON
As the Winston Cup season heads into its final
weeks, so does the race for Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year. The
has been full of great competition all year, and it's quite apparent
all of these rookies have bright futures ahead of them. For rookie
Busch, driver of the No. 97 Sharpie Rubbermaid Ford, he has experienced
great finishes and some not so great, but what he has been able to walk
with in terms of knowledge from this year's season is invaluable.
"It has been a
whole new experience learning how to get a Cup car
around the track versus a truck because the things that we did on the
don't necessarily apply to the Cup car," Busch said.
"It's been a matter of
our team learning from each circumstance, applying things that we have
learned from one week to the next, and being able to capitalize on that
knowledge. As a team we have come along way this season and, I am
proud of the progress we have made."
Winston Cup rookies
are also faced with the constant challenge of just
being a rookie and the connotation that goes along with the title.
"rookie" generally translates to a lack of experience, and in
all rookies bear the infamous yellow stripe on their rear bumper, a
that all veteran drivers are weary of. As with anything, it
certain amount of time to diminish the stereotypes that go along with
rookie status, and time to build a positive reputation and a rapport
"There are so
many new circumstances to adapt to in your rookie Winston
Cup season, from the length of the season to the extended race mileage,
the multitude of new tracks that we race on," Busch said.
"You have to be
on your toes all the time and look to learn from some of the other
and your teammates in an effort to improve, learn and become more
consistent. It is tough at times being a rookie because you know
veteran drivers don't feel that you have paid your dues yet, but for the
most part everybody is pretty helpful and can offer great advice when
Currently, Busch is
second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race
behind Kevin Harvick. He is aware that the race is nearing the
that won't hinder his chase to capture the highly distinctive rookie
Roush Racing is a
subsidiary of Roush Industries, Inc. which operates
eight teams; four in NASCAR Winston Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff
Burton, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch; two in the Busch series with Burton
Greg Biffle; and two in Craftsman Truck with Jon Wood and Kyle Busch.