KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Combos Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 3rd Did you have any issues during your qualifying run? "I think we were just a little bit too tight. The first run we made qualifying (in practice) was real, real...
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Combos Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 3rd
Did you have any issues during your qualifying run?
"I think we were just a little bit too tight. The first run we made qualifying (in practice) was real, real tight. The second one we made (in practice) was real, real loose. So, we kind of picked a spot somewhere in between. We went a little bit more conservative towards the tighter side. It was a good lap for us -- not overall too happy with it -- the speed I think we could have gotten out of the car. But, we'll take it for this Combos Toyota, JGR Toyota -- and go on into race day."
How was your qualifying lap?
"Not bad. It was a good lap for us I think. Not as good as I would have expected it to be. I think we were a little bit too tight in practice, and we made another qualifying run and we were real loose. So, we kind of picked a little spot in between -- a little bit more conservative towards the tighter side. (It was) just a little bit too tight overall. Just wasn't quite happy with the way the car turned through there, but it's quick right now."
"It was a good qualifying effort for us I felt like. I didn't get the most out of the car that we probably could have got out of the car today. For what we had at qualifying practice there our first run with it was pretty tight and our second run with it was pretty loose. So we picked a spot somewhere in between and we just went a little too far towards the tight side and just didn't have it free enough to where I could get back to the gas when I wanted to, to get a good drive up off the corner. I felt like Greg (Biffle) probably optimized his car pretty good. To me he probably had a freer car than we did. It just kind of showed a little bit there on the speed chart but not much."
How does running all three series here at Dover compare to doing it at another track?
"Well, this place is not bad. It's definitely hard on your body and stuff, if you're trying to drive a car or truck or whatever, too loose. You're on edge the whole team because it's a concrete surface -- there's not a lot of grip unless you're tight and comfortable turning on the right front. Overall, I think, here it's pretty fun especially with the heat the way it's going to be -- it might be a little bit hot on Sunday. It won't be too bad."
When you are driving all three series in one day -- is one more different?
"The COT (new NASCAR chassis) is by far the most different. The way you have to slow down for the corners. You have to turn the way the car doesn't turn. And, how you have to get off the corners -- so, it's definitely a big transition there."
How much of practice did you concentrate on qualifying?
"Just two runs. We only made two qualifying runs. We heard it was going to rain tomorrow. Hopefully not, but we wanted to get a good spot in race trim stuff and see what we could learn in order to get ready for Sunday."
How would you compare your confidence from last year at this time to right now?
"I don't know. Normally, I'm always pretty confident in my cars and knowing that we've got good stuff. Last year I'd say that we had good stuff compared to the competition and this year I'd say that we've got great stuff compared to the competition, but the competition is slowly closing in. It feels like we're still on the front side of the competition but their slowly creeping up on us. We about maxed out our car we feel like and don't have much more room to grow and everybody else probably hasn't maxed out their cars yet and still are growing. I'm not saying that we can but we probably need to try to find something else that is going to make these cars go faster so we can stay ahead of the competition. We've seen Roush Racing catch up over the offseason and with Carl's (Edward) win last year here. Over the offseason they've really stepped it up and been fast. Now Everinham last week at Charlotte -- they definitely kicked our butts in both races so we've got some work that we need to get going on."
Is your confidence level based on how good your car is?
"I would say so. If you're going out there and being able to run with the competition then you're going to be pretty confident in yourself that you can go out there and try to compete for a win. If you are going out there struggling every week, you're not going to be very confident."
Kevin Harvick talked about respect in the garage area earlier. Can you comment on the conversation you had with Jeff Gordon following the race last week?
"We did talk at Pocono. It's not Harvick's fight and he shouldn't be involved in it. To me and Jeff (Gordon), I just went up to him trying to get the situation fixed and over with right there on the spot. That was sort of the wrong moment to do it and Jeff alluded me to that and told me that it probably would have been better if I just called him during the week and -- I forgot all about the Pocono test this week -- and just going to see him there. It was just an issue of racing etiquette and I thought that Jeff raced me a little bit too hard there at one part of the race. I wasn't too pleased with him so I let him know. Then after the race I went up to him and asked him what I ever did to deserve to be raced that way and he was just telling me that he was just fighting for all he had with his car. He didn't have a car that was capable of going through the field at all and passing people so he was trying to fight for every spot that he was worth. I respect that but I just felt like I could have used a little bit more racing room than what he gave me. That's all."
What percentage does the driver and the car play to the success of the team?
"You've got to have a good driver to make a good car look good. You can't just have a guy that you stick in the seat and think that car is going to run well obviously. I feel like the Joe Gibbs Racing stuff is pretty darn good equipment and I wouldn't have jumped over to that team if I didn't think that was the case. With the way that things have gone this year -- I think the car is still a big ratio of its got to be. I don't think I could have jumped over to Bill Davis Racing and Red Bull Racing and picked them up as much as my success has been in the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. I feel the car is still a big percentage of it and I would say that it's probably 65 to 70 percent. There's some good stuff out there that we've got and there's some other cars out there that I don't feel are as good as ours."
-credit: toyota motorsports