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'Smarter' Kyle Busch Ready for Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2007) - At 21 years old, Kyle Busch is still young, but he’s also much wiser going into his third NEXTEL Cup season.

Busch’s go-after-it driving style remains unchanged, but his two years of Cup experience is showing.

“I don’t think my driving style has changed, [but] I think I have [changed] as a person,” Busch said. “Just becoming smarter behind the wheel, more thoughtful and smarter person overall.

“[I’m] just trying to figure out what it takes to go 500 miles and to make friends, instead of going out there and just race and try to win. Being [in NASCAR] hopefully for 15 or however many years, you want to come out of this deal with some friends.”

The No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST crew has lofty goals this season, Busch admits. He knows which areas the team will focus on, and puts much of the responsibility squarely on his own shoulders.

“We want to minimize some of the mistakes and some of the things that happened last year,” Busch said. “There were way too many pit-road speeding penalties and things like that that happened, so if we can cut down on that stuff it would make it a more successful year.”

It all kicks off with next Sunday’s Daytona 500, a race often described as a “crapshoot.” But Busch knows there is one area within his control.

“The thing you can control is your emotions,” he said. “Last year I let that get the best of me down towards the end of the [Daytona 500].

“It’s a pretty big race to win, definitely. But we’d like to win them all.”