Kyle Busch insists his focus is firmly on the second round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup this weekend in Fontana, with the disappointment of the Daytona 500 having already been put behind him.
The Joe Gibbs Racing ace was the dominant force through the opening stages of NASCAR's premier event last weekend but saw his victory hopes come to an end when he was one of the drivers to be caught up in the incident triggered by Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brian Vickers getting together on the back straight.
However Busch, who will be at the wheel of the #18 Interstate Batteries-backed Toyota Camry this weekend, insisted that Daytona, while disappointing, had already been forgotten.
“Daytona was certainly disappointing and frustrating,” he said. £But the season is so long that you can't let one race bug you once you are on to the next race. Last week was last week, and this week is this week.
£Just like putting last year behind us, we've already put Daytona behind us and we're focused on what we can do to run well at California and be in a position to win this week for Interstate Batteries. You can't change last week. It is what it is.”
Busch has fond memories of the Fontana circuit as he seeks to kick-start his championship campaign at the 2.5 mile Fontana oval, having secured history in 2005 when he became the youngest driver to secure a victory in the Sprint Cup. He also sits alongside Mark Martin as the only driver to have won at Auto Club Speedway in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Truck Series.
Returning to the circuit this time around, Busch admits he has learned the lessons of last season, when his season started strongly and then fell away – something he intends to avoid this time around.
“I didn't learn humble at the beginning,” he said. “The biggest thing that I've probably learned this past year is just how much great success we had in the beginning of the year – winning as many overall races that we won – and not being able to capitalise on that in the last 10 (races). That was pretty hard to swallow.
“I've learned to put things behind me, though. Through my whole racing career, once I started, it was all about winning. That's the way I was brought up. It was all about going out there and getting the checkered flag and bringing home the trophy and kissing the pretty girl. That's pretty much how Kurt (Busch) and I were both raised, and when we finished second or third in our local short track days, we went home mad. We weren't happy that we were there because we weren't there to finish second or third. I've grown up some and I think there are areas where I've improved. But I think there are still some other areas where I need to get better, too.
“It's all about learning from each problem that you encounter.”