Kyle Busch - Dover Friday media visit

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Kyle Busch - Dover Friday media visit

Dover International Speedway

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How has your week been heading into Dover? “We’re definitely looking forward to getting back to racing. Getting on the race track here yesterday was nice with the Truck Series. Our Traxxas Tundra was pretty good. Looking forward to tonight’s race and being able to get on the race track this weekend in all three series is going to be fun, too. Had a great opportunity here last year to sweep the weekend. We did end up winning the Nationwide and the Cup Series race. Unfortunately, we had a fuel problem with the trucks. Feel like that’s resolved and best case scenario will be to come back and try to sweep it again this year.”

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Do you feel like you have a clear understanding of the NASCAR rules? “I do. I understand it perfectly actually. It’s the ‘boys have at it,’ that happens out on the race track and it seems like they allow us to police ourselves pretty simply out there. When matters get taken into the drivers hands or anything else onto pit road, where innocent bystanders can be injured or something, NASCAR is going to step in and they’re going to intervene and they’re going to set penalties the way that they feel need to be levied. To me, it’s not a gray area, it’s pretty simple, it’s black and white. I’m not focused in all that really or what penalties should be during what circumstances because I’m a racer and I know that going out there on the race track and trying to win is the utmost thing. If you do that, then you certainly shouldn’t be getting in any brawls or anything like that.”

Where was your team following the incident at Darlington? “To be honest with you, I don’t know if they were aware of the antics. I had already unplugged my radio, so I don’t know what was going on over the radio, but we were pitted down in pit stall three or four or something like that last week. I do know that it was an awfully long way to haul, if you ask me. As I did turn in to the garage area after what happened down on the end of pit road, I did see some guys coming from that way. They were behind the pit wall, they weren’t out on pit road. When I turned into the garage area, some of them were turning in with me and following the car. When I got back to the truck, there were about four or five at the truck. They were where they were supposed to be, I will say that.”

Do you think hitting Kevin Harvick in the quarter panel during the race meant you were ‘throwing the gloves down?’ “Apparently he’s watching too much hockey. That’s what you do in your own time during the week I guess. To me, I did have a left rear tire flat and I wasn’t sure that if I turned too hard to the right to stay off of him or to get away from him that the car would actually spin out the wrong way -- my car would. Believe that for what it’s worth. I believe there’s some in car cameras you can see and I did have to come to pit road during that caution period to change left side tires because they were flat.”

Why do you and Kevin Harvick not get along? “As far as us getting along, I’m not sure that we ever really did. I think he (Kevin Harvick) tried and that’s why at Homestead I kind of talked about the two faces of Kevin Harvick. I still believe that’s out there. He’ll talk to you to your face like your best friends, but then behind closed doors or him at home or whatever, he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts or whatever else. That’s all -- I don’t care. I’m going on with my own business.”

It's definitely a roller coaster ride and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place ...

Kyle Busch

What makes you so good at Dover? “I love this place. It’s fun to come here. I came here when I was 18 to race in the Nationwide Series for my first time. It will scare you the first time you come here. You carry so much speed at this race track and for it to me a mile in length and for it to be concrete -- concrete surfaces that we race on anyway are a little bit slick. This place here is fun. It’s definitely a roller coaster ride and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place I think because you can get so much out of this place. There’s two ways of it -- you can probably be really, really good here or really, really bad here. Some days you’re going to be better than others obviously with how you can get your car setup compared to the competition. For me, just getting to race here in the Trucks and the Nationwide cars and the Sprint Cup cars -- to me, it gives me a little more experience on the race track. It helps me understand a little bit more about how the rubber gets laid down during the race and what all is going to happen and how the different cars might handle.”

Is there anything you want to clarify about your actions last week? “No, I don’t feel like I’m lying about anything because there’s video cameras and what is it, 85 video cameras around the race track that will pretty much simplify or backup anything that you’re saying. Not lying about anything. The only thing I will say I guess is that I’m sorry I came off of turn two on the flat trying to give Kevin (Harvick) room and maybe I slid a little too far and I got into him first. Maybe that’s what initiated everything. I apologize about that. It wasn’t my intentions to get into him and then have everything go down the way it went down. I was just trying to race the final five laps as hard as I could, as clean as I could to get the best finish we could. We shouldn’t have been back in that situation anyways, but we did have pit road -- a loose wheel and problems on pit road that we had to rebound from and come back from.”

Do you need to do anything different to take care of yourself? “I think it’s in my sponsors best interest and in my team owner’s best interest that we are not fighters and that we’re respectful competitors and we’re out here to do our job on the race track and race as best as we can, as hard as we can and as clean as we can. Sometimes as clean as you can, you might rub fenders with somebody or something like that. When it becomes from getting disrespected as bad as you have from one particular guy, at some point you finally say you’ve had enough and I feel like I did stick up for myself on the race track. Apparently there was more than on the race track afterwards.”

Do you not want there to be rules on the race track? “The rules part -- there doesn’t need to be any clarification as far as the rules go. The on the race track stuff, I don’t know that it really means much difference when somebody spins you out from behind on the straightaway at Homestead going 170 mph into the inside wall and ended up in a ball of flames -- that’s any different from spinning somebody out down the frontstretch at Darlington at 170 mph. I don’t see any difference there. I think it was just two ways maybe of going at it. It’s just the way the cards were dealt at that particular moment.”

Do you like Kevin Harvick? “I don’t know. I’ve never gotten along with the guy. I don’t know that he (Kevin Harvick) really ever got along with my brother either. I think there’s something beyond from his past growing’s up maybe and racing with Kurt (Busch) that I don’t know and I was just kind of thrown in that I was never really liked. I don’t know.”

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Do you agree that NASCAR probation does not change the way you race between the flags? “I think the focus of probation is between the two of us -- it’s between the situation. If I was out there on the race track -- say racing for fourth or fifth-place or something like that, and I got loose and I got into Jimmie Johnson or somebody like that and I spun them out and wrecked them. That has no consequences to the probation. If I’m out there racing hard and trying to pass Kevin (Harvick) for instance or something, and I feel like he’s blocking me and I spin him out and wreck him. There’s going to be consequences to that. That’s how I see it. And, of course, to anything happening off the race track or something like that. That’s also what it relates to. But as far as on the race track goes, good, clean, hard competition -- somebody making a mistake, something like that, it doesn’t mean anything.”

Does your sponsor ever get involved with how you handle NASCAR probation? “They do get involved. I’m going to say sometimes they do. And, in this case, yes they were involved a little bit. More so they’re involved in what the repercussions were going to be of what happened and transpired after the race. They knew what the situation was. They knew how it was outlined. They knew I didn’t have reverse and all that. So, they knew I was limited in my choices there on pit road. To say that they’re selling less M&M’s or to say that they’re unhappy with the situation -- I would have to disagree with that and I feel like they stood behind me the most they ever stood behind me and this act, actually. I appreciate their support. They stood behind me because I kept my head, I kept my cool and I stayed in my race car and knew that that was my best place to be and the best situation for what was going to come of anything. They

Does the incident that occurred at Darlington bring more visibility to the sport? “I don’t know to be honest with you. That would be a good question for the media staff at NASCAR or maybe even (Mike) Helton -- I don’t know. To me, I would say that there was certainly attention drawn to the sport the last couple of weeks with the 42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) and the 39 (Ryan Newman) -- and then last week with us. There should also be a lot of attention drawn to the sport with Regan Smith and his win and him winning his first race in NASCAR at the Southern 500, and getting his name locked into the All-Star race coming up next week. That was definitely really cool. All of us racers will say that was the bigger story, but some others will disagree with us. To be honest with you, to me I’m more about out on the race track and being able to race and being able to have fun racing, and doing what I was raised to do and doing what I love to do and ultimately trying to get to victory lane and winning some races. Hopefully, we have a shot at three of them here this weekend.”

How meaningful will it be to be to set the record for most Nationwide Series wins? “It’s really meaningful. You know, I’d really like to do it here in these next couple weeks -- to be honest with you. Because I asked Mark (Martin) if he would be around on Saturdays, or Friday night Nationwide race I guess is in Charlotte -- no, it is Saturday night ain’t it -- cause it’s the 600 weekend. You know, I asked him if he would be around so he could come to victory lane and help celebrate me tying his record and take some photos that both of us were able to reach such a milestone. It’s his milestone. That’s why I asked him to be there so that I can take photos with him and have him kind of be there smiling -- and I wouldn’t say he’s in support of it, I’m breaking his record. But, at least recognize that someone else has been able to get as high as he has in the win column. That would be really cool and I’d appreciate we could get that done and have him there with us.”

-source: toyota motorsports

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags joe gibbs racing, sprint cup, toyota