KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What do you think about this weekend at Daytona? “Daytona has always been kind of a fun place to come to in July when it gets a little bit slick out and car handling seems to go away. But, that’s all thrown out the window now with the new asphalt and everything here. So, we’ll see how it changes things. But, I predict it will be pretty similar to what we had here in February -- just two- car drafts and find your partners that you can work well with, or your car works well with.”

Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

How do you like the two-car draft at Daytona? “I’m not really for it. You’re too dependent on finding somebody for one. For two, if you’re the ‘pushee’ you feel really bad when you spin somebody out, or when you’re the ‘pusher’ just waiting to be spun out. It’s really more of an antagonizing race than it is a fun race and working your way through traffic and trying to find lanes to go in. It’s all about making sure you get a partner and if you don’t get a partner you’re kind of thrown out to the leads.”

Do you care who you have as a drafting partner? “You know, you just hook up with whoever you’re around. More times than not, it actually becomes more circumstantial than it does because it’s a partner you want to work with. Obviously, I think teammates would want to be one of your first priorities, but we only got three instead of four, so it’s an odd number and leaves at least one of us out. I’ve worked well with Joey (Logano). I’ve worked well with Denny (Hamlin). I’ve worked well with my brother and others. So, it doesn’t matter who it is.”

How would you feel about drafting with a ‘rival’? “Doesn’t matter who it is.”

What will be the biggest challenge in a Sprint Cup car at Kentucky Speedway? “I think the biggest challenge for all of us is just going to be how bumpy the track is and how much load can we distribute through the bump stops in the cars versus through the spring or hold it down with a shock and all that stuff. That’s where the biggest balance is going to come from. You know, we can pretty much predict who’s going to run well there. I think Joey (Logano) will do well -- I expect him to run well there. And, I expect we can run well. Also, just have to put it all together and get everything the way you need to.”

Are the bumps a problem or do they add character to Kentucky Speedway? “I don’t know. I’ve never run there in a Cup car. So, I don’t know. It definitely adds character, sure. If they’re too harsh and you’re bouncing up the track or you can’t run in underneath somebody because you’re afraid you’re going to bounce up into them and hit them. Obviously, that’s an issue that we’re all faced with.”

Is there an advantage having previously run Nationwide races at Kentucky Speedway? “I think there’s a little bit there, but not much. We all go to new race tracks. Guys that haven’t ever won there or raced there sometimes win there. Like Jeff Gordon won at Kansas -- I think it was, or Chicago or something when it was new. California when it was new. I don’t think it means much.”

Did you learn anything from the tire test at Kentucky Speedway ? “The guys have just gone there and tried to work through some of those things -- like the bump stuff and what all we can do to try to make our cars fast around there. We’ll have a whole day of testing when we get there so I’ll get my taste of it and be able to decipher through the differences from other mile-and-a-half race tracks.”

How long does it take to be comfortable when you go to a new track? “I don’t think it takes that long. Obviously, I’ve been there before so I’ve got laps. And, laps is experience. It won’t take long.”

Is Kentucky Speedway similar to any other track? “No. Not really. Kentucky’s its own -- their all their own identity. Charlotte is it’s own versus Texas versus Atlanta. Everybody says they all look the same, they all drive the same -- they’re not even close.”

Why did you shake Kevin Harvick’s hand after last weekend’s race? “I felt like we had a really good race with each other. So, just wanted to let him know that.”

Did you feel like you gave each other room in last weekend’s race? “Yes. We gave each other great room and raced each other hard and clean. And, that’s all there is to it. You all are reading way too much into things.”

How does bad weather impact a race weekend? “It makes a pretty boring day to not know what to expect or when to expect to get on the race track. They could have the track all the way dry besides two more minutes worth and we could have another downpour. That’s Daytona.”