Locking in to Atlanta; thinking Chicago

Kurt Busch believes Theo Epstein is the best candidate to become the Cubs' next GM. Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Only two races stand between the Penske Shell Dodge and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway on September 18. Only two more races until I get to my favorite place under the sun, Chicago. But first, I have to lock in my Chase spot at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This weekend is pretty vital for our team, and I hope that we can pull it off to officially lock ourselves in the Chase. We won the spring race last year at Atlanta, but racing this time of the year comes with hot, sticky and slick weather conditions which bring up several challenges for any driver on the track.

This past week at Bristol we started off strong and qualified tenth. Our car had speed -apparently a little too much when we got caught speeding on pit road not once but twice. Bristol's speeding segments are located every 300 feet while other tracks have segments 150 feet apart which make it hard to adjust when going down pit road. NASCAR needs to take a serious look at limited speed control from the driver's cockpit and make some changes. Needless to say, I was frustrated after the two speeding penalties.

Switching gears a bit, the Cubs look to be doing pretty well. I was in Phoenix on Monday testing Goodyear tires and was able to catch a Diamondback's game that night. I saw the Cubs vs. Giants score flash on the big screen and did a double take. I was so proud of my home team! I am even happier to hear talk about possibly having the Red Sox's GM heading over to help out and hopefully work his magic on this team. I think he's the best candidate.

I read about Kyle Korver on ESPN and his thoughts on the NBA lockout earlier this week. It's tough time for the league and for players. We finally have that great team momentum and positive energy rolling over from last season. I hope the players and the NBA are able to work through things because this could really be the Bulls year.

On a more positive note, the Kurt Busch Foundation is raffling off a 2011 Dodge Charger. Tickets are $100 each with only 5,000 being sold. All proceeds benefit the Kurt Busch Foundation which provides health care support, education, career training and rehabilitation for people in need along with military families in need. Tickets are available at www.kurtbusch.com/foundation. Not much could make me happier than seeing that red Charger driving around the streets of the Chicago!

Well, I'm off to Seattle to visit a children's hospital with Shell and to catch a Seattle Mariner's game with an old buddy I haven't seen in a long time. I actually haven't seen him since we roomed together back when we first started racing together.

Hopefully we have great news to share next week coming out of Atlanta and a secured spot in the Chase. Again, I can't wait to be in Chicago in two very short weeks!