Bringing Their "A" Game; Busch Just Another Competitor

Regulars with the Champion Racing Association view visiting Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch as another competitor but they also want to bring their ‘A’ game to the competition.

Busch has been the dominant driver in NASCAR’s top three divisions since switching from the Hendricks Motorsports team to Joe Gibbs Racing, but he has become a regular at CRA super late model events.

The Nevada native scored his first CRA win earlier this year in Georgia, finished fifth at Berlin Raceway and will be making his third start with the traveling series in the Red Bud 300 presented by Great Deals Magazine at Anderson Speedway on Tuesday.

Angola driver Scott Hantz, a two-time CRA champion, said the reason he traveled to Michigan last week was to compete against Busch.

“You want to beat him,” Hantz said of Busch. “You watch him on television and he’s beating everybody in the country. I just want to beat him, that’s why I came here.”

During the late stages of the ‘Rowdy Busch 125’ at Berlin Raceway, Hantz and Busch were racing three-wide for position entering the first corner at the 7/16ths mile D-shaped oval.

Both drivers have a lot of faith and respect for each other when racing side by side, according to Hantz.

“We’re not going to wreck each other,” he said. “We’re giving each other hand signals. We just race hard and want to finish.”

Hantz said the Red Bud 300 should be an excellent race.

“There’s the halfway break and you can change four tires,” he said. “Those teams that take only two tires or no tires will start in front of those taking four tires. There are a lot of guys that haven’t raced at Anderson for a long time, so it should be an interesting race.”

Michigan driver Johnny Van Doorn, the 2007 CRA rookie of the year, said the team focuses on their own car and treat Busch as another competitor.

“I know he’s on the same playing field, the rules are the same for everyone,” he said. “If you feel intimidated by him, you’ve already lost the race.”

Van Doorn believes the CRA regulars will have an advantage at Anderson because of their experience at the high-banked quarter-mile oval.

“When you go to Anderson you want to be smooth,” he said. “It will be a long race and stuff happens fast on a quarter-mile track. There’s a little advantage because you know things happen fast.”

Adam Purdy is providing former Anderson 400 winner Harold Fair with a ride for the Red Bud 300.

“I don’t like the shorter tracks,” Purdy said, “I like running at places like Winchester. It is fun to run there (Anderson). You can bury it into the corner because of the banking and the car will stick.”

Purdy said on the racetrack Busch is just another car to compete against.

“All the fans like coming out and getting his (Busch) autograph,” he said. “It’s a big promotion. I thank him for coming out, but in the pits there are 20 others that want the same thing, run good and maybe get the win.”