Kyle Busch media chat after first practice at PIR

Toyota Motorsports press release

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

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

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

How did things go today on the race track?
"It's alright for a little while. Not too bad. Just shaking her in -- getting it used to being back here in Phoenix. The track did a nice job of getting a lot of rubber laid down so it made it a lot easier to transition right in to trying to go fast instead of having to break in a race track and get used to all that and rubber it in and all."

Will we see more passing here than last fall?
"I don't know. Probably -- not really. We'll have to wait and find out. Ultimately, just everybody is running the same speed -- it's so tough anyway. Aero plays a big role here at these flat tracks cause you're fighting so much for keeping the splitter down on the race track, keeping air on the nose of the car and so anytime you get back in traffic and you lose downforce -- essentially you don't turn as well."

What did you think of Brad Keselowski's 'explosion' of Twitter followers after Daytona?
"Whatever you got to do man. Obviously, he gained an awful lot of followers and if they keep following him because of what he says during the regular weeks and what have you -- then by golly he gained them all. Maybe some will trickle off -- who knows."

Is that good for the sport?
"Sure. I mean I think it's good no matter who you are. Whether it was Brad (Keselowski) or Jimmie (Johnson) or Matt Kenseth -- whoever it might have been. I think anytime you're able to get more attention drawn to NASCAR and have a lot of people follow you it makes them interested and exciting -- and gets them to ask themselves, 'Why don't we go check out a NASCAR race.'"

Is there any competitive advantage to having a phone in the race car?
"I don't know. I don't think there's any merit there. You can't hold it and record or anything like that. I don't think they (Brad Keselowski) were doing anything that was out of the norm."

What did you think of the penalty to the 48 (Jimmie Johnson)?
"It's just a part of the sport sometimes. When you're doing some things that you may not should be doing -- then you get a penalty for it, and that's how NASCAR felt it necessary to penalize those guys. Hopefully, there's no more of that for any of the competitors. We certainly don't want to see that. I want to see Chad (Knaus) at the race track. Have him around and have him crew chief Jimmie Johnson because when you beat those guys -- you know you're beating the best they have."

Has Monster been pleased with the start of the year?
"Yeah. The Monster folks have been really good. A lot of good feedback from the past weeks -- not just Daytona, but prior to that. So, we've been doing a lot of cool things and those guys have been really good to work with so far. Hopefully, it continues on down that road. It doesn't become too stressful. But, I foresee everything being pretty smooth."

What are your thoughts on Penske Racing moving to Ford in 2013?
"You guys are asking me about news. Not my problem. If it's better for Penske Racing to go to Ford, great, but it could be a down turn for Dodge and this sport for where they're going to be with not having a powerhouse team. Essentially you look at some of these guys that are up front, they've had the manufacturer backing with the manufacturers they have for a long time. It's certainly not going to be beneficial to them, but hopefully they can find somebody new to come into the sport like they did with Evernham to keep them a name sake here because they're obviously important to what we do every Sunday."

Did you get any feedback on your port-a-potty video in Daytona?
"I retweeted it, but I don't know if it went viral. I don't know what viral is considered. I really don't care. You have to go if you got to go. Dale Jr. (Earnhardt) and (Brad) Keselowski raced to the port-a-johns. I think every driver went, I was just the first one because I had to go since lap 30. I was itching to get out."

How were your Nationwide and Cup events at Daytona?
"I've always said that the real season starts here in Phoenix. It used to be California or wherever it might have been. Daytona is always such a crap shoot. Anything can happen, especially now with pack-style drafting, but let alone the repave. When it was the old surface, you could have a car and a driver that could excel and come to the front and make something happen, but now it's just pure luck sometimes. For me, what's the consensus coming out of Daytona is it was expensive -- it was very expensive. Not just me at Kyle Busch Motorsports, but for Joe Gibbs Racing, for Hendrick Motorsports, for Roush -- who name it -- it was expensive. Certainly one of those weekends that the owners don't like going to.

How does a Monday race affect growth and following the sport?
"I think it would be way better to just be able to go consistently through a race and have a lot of excitement built through the race. A lot of lead changes, a lot of passing, a lot of guys going forwards, backwards, pit stop strategies -- all that stuff makes for an interesting race. How it's going to play out, no body ever knows. That's what you're always watching at the end for, to see what does happen. I think having the fire and stopping, the rain and all that stuff -- I think Joey (Logano) did a poll on his Twitter and asked if everybody liked Sundays or Mondays and 80 percent said they like Mondays better, but it doesn't really show in the TV ratings. I still think, if you're always on schedule and always have a clean, straight through race, you're always going to have better interest than breaking it up."

Do you find you have to be different for your different sponsors?
"I wouldn't call it a different person. You know you can maybe say a few more colorful words than some other sponsors may like. I'm just joking. All kidding aside, it's just a product of some days, yeah you feel a little more relaxed maybe, but you try not to differentiate too much between any of them."

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Tags busch, joe gibbs, phoenix, toyota