BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS: ON RACING AT NEW HAMPSHIRE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: "The biggest thing is just being able to turn the center here and having a good drive off. You have to be able to mash...
BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS:
ON RACING AT NEW HAMPSHIRE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY:
"The biggest thing is just being able to turn the center here and having a good drive off. You have to be able to mash the gas and get off the corners well too. The biggest thing sometimes though is when you turn the center then you're loose off and then as soon as your center gets a little bit tight then you're good off so you can't ever really find a balance at this place. It's very, very difficult to do that."
WHY DO WE SEE A LOT OF DRIVERS BRING SHORT TRACK RACE CARS HERE AND CONSIDER THIS A SHORT TRACK WHEN THE TRACK IS REALLY OVER A MILE?
"The biggest thing with that is it's flat, it's stop and go, it's sort of a Martinsville type race track. The biggest thing is just trying to get your geometry closer to the ground. Last year we made the mistake of doing that the second race here. The first race we brought a short track car. The second race we brought an intermediate car because we went from Richmond to here and that was our only short track car that we really had so we had to bring an intermediate car because they couldn't get it turned around in time and we struggled. We ran 20th all day. For some reason, whatever that was, we just decided to build another short track car so now we have two of them so I think we'll be ready to go this year."
A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY THAT BECAUSE JUAN PABLO MONTOYA IS ONLY 30 YEARS OLD HE HAS TIME TO LEARN, MAKE THE TRANSITION TO NASCAR AND BE STRONG. YOU STILL HAVE A WHILE UNTIL YOU'RE 30. IF YOU ACCOMPLISH EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH IN THIS GARAGE IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS, CAN YOU ENVISION YOURSELF SWITCHING TO OPEN WHEEL CARS? COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THAT SAME SCENARIO AT ALL?
"Yeah, possibly depending on where NASCAR goes, that depends on what I do. The biggest thing with that is trying to figure out exactly what you want to do.
I might be here 10, 15 more years and figure out this is pretty old now, let's go doing something else or I'll just be done and go sit at home and play with kids like Ricky Rudd and do that kind of family deal so the biggest thing for me is to just get to that point. I'm 21 right now so I have plenty of time to think about it and hopefully plenty of time to get all the success that I'd like to have."
ARE YOU INTO OPEN WHEEL CARS? DOES THAT PEAK YOUR INTEREST?
"Yeah, I love watching them on TV and stuff like that. It's pretty cool to be able to see the technology that they have - CART, IRL, Formula 1 - Formula 1 especially. It's definitely a bigger deal to try to go do that kind of stuff than it is for us. I think the more difficult task is for some of those guys to come over here and try to do what we're doing versus us going over there. Whether or not that happens, I don't know."
A LOT OF TIMES DRIVERS SAY THE RACE TRACK CHANGES WHEN RETURNING TO A TRACK. IN THE CASE OF POCONO IT'S A FIVE-WEEK SWING. DOES THE TRACK CHANGE OR IS IT JUST THE SAME POCONO?
"Last year it really didn't change much. We ran pretty well both times last year. We didn't run so well this year. Hopefully when we go back we'll have a better knowledge of what we need to run in the car in order to be better. I'm not sure if it will be any different. I don't think so. I don't think it was any different last year so it will probably be the same Pocono."
DO YOU PLAY VIDEO GAMES? HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED A VIDEO GAME TO PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A TRACK?
"No, I did that more so years and years ago when I was a kid watching the Cup Series growing up. I'd put the game in my computer and I'd go race every NASCAR track with the NASCAR boys. Anytime they were at whatever track I'd be at that track too and kind of just go through the season. It was kind of fun doing it that way but I haven't played that video game in such a long time. The biggest thing for me though is to go out there and run the Busch Series and the Cup Series to get my extra track time and try to learn what we can."
WERE YOU ABLE TO LEARN ANYTHING AT THE INDIANAPOLIS TEST?
"Yeah, we learned some stuff. We got going there a little bit and we kind of got going a little bit faster and then we slowed down a bit then we got going a little bit faster again. The sun wasn't really out but the heat of the day wasn't what it's going to be when we go back there in August. It's kind of going to be a little tough to figure out exactly what we need to do in order to make ourselves better for when we go back but the biggest thing is we finally got my car turning pretty well through the center then it was loose off the corner and I got loose and overcorrected and smacked the wall. Hopefully that's out of my system and we can go back and have an easy Brickyard 400."
IS THAT A TRACK THAT IS REALLY SENSITIVE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS?
"Yes and no. I haven't been on it for enough years to where I can tell you that. Jeff (Gordon) or Tony Stewart will be able to tell you. For myself last year it was all sunny, the whole weekend it was sunny, and then yesterday or whenever we were there it was all cloud cover. Normally when we were there before it was tighter just because of the heat on the race track. You couldn't get the grip you wanted. Yesterday was a lot better than I expected but our car was still a little bit tighter than I wanted."
CLINT BOWYER IS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT RACING IN THE BRICKYARD 400. CAN YOU RELATE TO HIS EXCITEMENT?
"Yeah, he's in for a big surprise there. You can't picture it. I thought I pictured it pretty well and I wasn't even close. The biggest thing about the Brickyard is that it's almost as big as the Daytona 500. No one will ever admit it but it is pretty much one of the biggest races that we have on the circuit now so to be able to run there is extra special. Guys have been going there for years. It's almost a hundred year old facility and everyone that has been racing there over the years will tell you just how prestigious it is."
WHAT IS IT ABOUT INDIANAPOLIS? IS IT THE POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE? WHAT'S GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND DURING THE BALLOONS AND PRE-RACE ACTIVITIES?
"Can we get in the car and go now? That's my thought really. It is a little bit longer of a pre-race than anywhere else we go to. It's all for the show and Indianapolis is the most prestigious race track so they want to have the best show out there and do what they need to do to keep people coming back. Sometimes it can be a little bit of a boring race but hopefully this year will be a little bit different than that and we can have a good one where fans will love it and want to come back."