Speeding for Safety

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," June 29, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The Fourth of July is coming up and we're smack in the middle of NASCAR season. The action is in Daytona this weekend with the Pepsi 400 (search).

Kurt Busch (search) won last season's NASCAR championship. He is live now in Daytona Beach, Florida to talk about this weekend's race and, hopefully, Kurt, to tell the rest of us how we can stay safe on the roads this holiday weekend while we're speeding to our destinations.

Kurt Busch, is there anything that is even remotely similar to what you do in a car and what we do?

KURT BUSCH, NASCAR DRIVER: I'm sure there is a turnpike out there that hauls the mail from one tollbooth to the next.

But we've got great opportunities at all these racetracks for good speeds. And Daytona is the best one to come to for speed, 200 miles an hour. And this is a great weekend for us to help promote some of that safety.

GIBSON: Now, Kurt, safety at 200 miles an hour?


BUSCH: I thought I was going to slip that one by you.

GIBSON: No, you're not going to slip that by me, Kurt.



BUSCH: Yes. There is safety on the track, and, of course, safety outside the racetrack.

That's what we're doing Wednesday — helping promote our Smirnoff Ice summer safety zone. And cars from here until I can see are lined up, getting their cars checked out. I was actually out helping them earlier, whether it's air pressure, some of the fluids. We want to make sure everybody gets home safe.

GIBSON: OK. Kurt, you drive the regular old roads just like us.

BUSCH: Yes, sir.

GIBSON: So, you drive 65, 70, 80 miles an hour, right?

BUSCH: I try.

GIBSON: You understand what that looks like. We understand what that looks like.


GIBSON: But I don't understand what 200 miles an hour looks like. How much different is it when you're behind the wheel at 200, which we don't know about, for the normal guy's 80?

BUSCH: Everything comes up pretty quick. Everything comes up quick. I can tell you that. And then some of the drivers say speed is relative, which it is.

The racetracks that we run on, some of them are two-and-a-half miles in length. And so you have got long, great straight-aways. And then the corners are banked 30-something degrees. And so, the cars stick pretty good, until you get some guy out there that wants to take up too much room. So, we're always having fun out on the track. And then we try to keep the safe mode out when we're out on the highways.

GIBSON: Now, are you susceptible to road rage, like the rest of us?


BUSCH: Maybe out on the racetrack a little bit.

I have been doing pretty good safety-wise — none of that on the highways. But it's great competition out on the track and trying to get my car up to the front. And there is always somebody out there that wants to beat me. And that's what happens. It's great racing. That's why the fans come out to check it out.

GIBSON: All right. Kurt Busch, NASCAR, the Daytona Pepsi 400 this weekend. Kurt, thanks very much. And best of luck to you.

BUSCH: You got it. Thanks a lot.

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