Kyle Busch - Friday media visit

Richmond

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

“I think everybody always puts an added emphasis on any track that’s a Chase race.

Kyle Busch

What happened to your car at the end of Denny’s charity race last night? “Fuel pickup problem.”

Is there any added emphasis on getting specific notes this weekend that you can bring back to Richmond in September? “I think everybody always puts an added emphasis on any track that’s a Chase race. Chicago, for instance, we tried to do the best we could last year at learning what we needed to learn knowing it would become a Chase race this year. Loudon in the spring, all of the time. Texas -- the same thing. Yeah, every race track that you have you try to work as much as you can towards the next time around and trying to build a really good notebook so you have everything that you can use to go back with.”

What makes Darlington a track that is too tough to tame? “It’s a very narrow and challenging race track, especially for the speeds that we carry around there now. You’ve really got to be able to get as close as you can to the wall in order to carry your momentum through the corners because you’ve got to make the straightaways as long as you can. The track is very narrow on entries and exits so you’re always trying to round the place as much as you can. It’s very one groovish. You can’t really run side-by-side there. Anytime you get alongside somebody you basically have to let them go. It’s a very big give and take type track. It’s a lot harder to pass now with the fresh asphalt than what it used to be. It’s really aero sensitive now to where it used to be more about mechanical grip and getting your car to handle well and handle over the bumps well and keep the tires on it. Where now you’re restricted off the car in front of you and trying to find some air basically.”

Why have you been so successful at Richmond? “I don’t know. It’s just been a really good race track. Somehow we’ve been able to figure it out in the races. Sometimes we don’t practice great, sometimes we don’t qualify great, but we’ve always been able to come up through there. The qualifying stats aren’t as pretty as the race stats, but you don’t put too much emphasis on that. Certainly you’d like to qualify well and have a good shot at staying up front and staying out of trouble, but we’ve been able to make our way up through there. I think the long green flag runs suit my style pretty well and I like being able to get out there and kind of get strung out and run at your own pace -- run at your own agenda.”

Is your team where you want it to be that you can be successful the next three months? “I’d have to say we’re close. There’s definitely some areas for improvement no doubt. The guys have done a really, really good job all year long up to this point that we’ve been able to have consistent race cars. Each and every week we’ve been able to be good on the race track and have solid efforts. If it hasn’t been for an engine failure at Vegas or a wheel loose at Texas or the wreck at Talladega we could possibly have three more top-10s and maybe even some top-five finishes in there too. Texas, I think we were a second-place car there to Matt (Kenseth). Vegas, we were a second-place car to Tony Stewart, even though Carl (Edwards) won. Maybe we could’ve snuck out with one there or a third or something. Talladega is always a crap shoot anyway. It’s relative to where you are. We feel pretty good about it.”

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

Photo by: Ashley Dickerson, ASP Inc.

Will you miss running the Nationwide race here tonight? “Yeah, I wish we would’ve got to run the Nationwide race here in Richmond. It’s always fun for me to be able to do that. I feel like you’re able to learn a little bit of something for the Cup race. No big deal. We can focus on one this weekend.”

Will you do anything else to try and learn for the Cup race? “I don’t know. I’ve been just studying video right now with the practice that we just had. That’s about it.”

When is the last time you sat out of a Nationwide Series companion race? “Probably never, to be honest with you. (2008 in Michigan) -- Joey ran that. That’s right. I went up on the roof and actually was listening and everything to that. That’s the only one I can remember.”

What will you be doing tonight since you’re not running the Nationwide race? “I don’t know. Ask Samantha (wife).”

Would going out to dinner tonight be an option? “We could. I have figured out even with truck races sometimes we go out when I’ve missed truck races. You go out and you have dinner or something like that and you try to come back to the race track and they’re all one lane in and even sometimes they don’t let you back in. They cut all lanes to go out. So, that would be a pain in the ass to try to get back in here after a race gets let out. So, you’re better off just staying put. There are strategies to everything. There’s a method to the madness.”

As you get older, do you believe some younger drivers may get psyched out by you? “You’d have to ask them. They might not really admit it. I would say that has a little bit to do with it. I would say they put a little bit of added pressure on themselves going against myself at that particular moment. They may have just screwed up a little bit. If people just concentrate on being consistent and running their own race and not worrying about who’s around them they can sometimes be a lot better off. Darrell (Wallace Jr.) he ran into me under the caution coming to the green trying to force me higher up to get my right sides in the stuff. I’m like, ‘Kid, what are you doing.’ You know, I’m a little bit smarter than that. I know what’s going on here. And then he about wrecked us both. Luckily, I held on to it. But, apparently he got hit from behind. I don’t know.”

Do you feel like a mentor? “Well, I can talk to them, as much as they want to talk to me. I think they’re either intimidated by me or they just feel like they don’t need the help. I’ve never talked to Max (Gresham) or to Darrell (Wallace Jr.). I was kind of the same way. I always hated calling a Jeff Gordon or a Jimmie Johnson about stuff like that. You know, those guys have their own agenda and are doing their own deals, so it’s kind of tough sometimes to feel like you’re being bothersome to them. So, I can imagine they’re the same way.”

Did you have a chance to win the Denny Hamlin charity race last night? “If my car wouldn’t have had issues he would have never got me -- got to me. So, we were good.”

-source: Toyota motorsports

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags gibbs racing, richmond 400, sprint cup, toyota