Kyle Busch - King of the Concrete
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 11, 2011) – Over the course of the past three seasons, there hasn’t been a driver more dominant on NASCAR’s concrete surfaces than Kyle Busch. In fact, he could easily be called the “King of the Concrete,” for the talented 26-year-old has 17 wins at concrete-clad ovals dating back to 2008 – a run that includes drives in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Dover (Del.) International Speedway, site of Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup race, is one of three concrete tracks that hosts NASCAR’s top-three divisions. Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is the other, while Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, hosts only Nationwide and Truck Series races.
KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
What does it take to be successful at Dover?
“Dover, being a concrete track, is challenging. They are all a challenge, but Dover is especially so, just because of the way you have to run around that place. The way tires sometimes wear out. The way the rubber gets put down there. You’ve got to be fast through the corner. Two-thirds of your lap time is through the turn rather than down the straightaway, so you definitely have to make sure you have a good-handling race car – one that’s good in the beginning of the run on low air pressures and one that’s good at the end of the run on high air pressures, and even through traffic, too. Some of the most challenging times are when you’re trying to get through traffic with guys. We were able to win last spring with our M&M’s Camry and hope we can keep the momentum going there again this weekend.”
Does it frustrate you that you’ve experienced bad luck in the Truck Series at Dover, even though you’ve run well there?
“I should’ve won the past five races in a row at Dover, I just haven’t been able to do it. I like running the Trucks at Dover. They’re fun. Nationwide cars are the same way, and the Cup cars. Dover is a good place for me. I like going to the ‘Monster’ and, hopefully, it’s another good one for us this time around, where we can try to go for another sweep. I feel pretty good about that, and knowing that we run well there and hoping to keep that streak of running well there.”
Do you approach the upcoming tracks differently because they’re Chase tracks?
“You don’t really approach them any differently. The biggest thing you do is just try to make really good notes. Write down everything that you’re doing, write down the changes you’re making – all of that kind of stuff – better than you typically would. With Chase tracks being run in the regular season, it sort of helps us be able to build a better notebook for when we go back, and just having a better idea of understanding some things, but that’s about it.”
Just keep the momentum going, keep the good finishes coming, keep trying to run well and all of that kind of stuff.
Have you noticed your meetings aren’t as points-driven at this point in the season, especially since you have two wins?
“No, our talks are all just to try to do everything that we’ve been doing. Just keep the momentum going, keep the good finishes coming, keep trying to run well and all of that kind of stuff. It’s not necessarily that we’re not racing for points or anything. We want to be the points leader. We want to be the points leader and winning races. That would be the best ticket.”
Do you enjoy racing at Dover?
“It’s definitely a fast racetrack. It’s a fun racetrack, too. It makes it interesting when you get to traffic, when you have to pass guys, when you’re kind of falling down into the hole and jumping back up out of the hole to the straightaways. It’s a good place to race. It’s a competitive racetrack and, when the rubber gets laid down, it definitely changes the whole atmosphere and the whole way you run around that place.”
Does going from concrete to asphalt change the way the car handles?
“We don’t run on an asphalt race track that’s banked like that or shaped like that. The mile tracks we go to that are asphalt are Phoenix and Loudon, and they are relatively flat. The concrete just changes the feel a little bit, of course, and changes the way you approach the racetrack, too.”