Phoenix II: Winning team interview

Kyle Busch wins in Phoenix Kyle Busch -- ...

Kyle Busch wins in Phoenix

Kyle Busch -- #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet -- Winner

We're pretty excited. It's definitely a great opportunity for myself to be involved with such a great team and Hendrick Motorsports and Kellogg's and Carquest and Delphi and everybody that's helped us out this year. It's been a great opportunity for me to be able to carry on the tradition a little bit. You know, it's kind of funny because the first time I ever came to a NEXTEL Cup race, Winston Cup, was here at Phoenix and it was the year that Terry Labonte won. If that makes some weird circumstances, I don't know what does. But, it's pretty cool for me to be able to come here to Phoenix and win my second start out and be able to carry on from the Busch family's name here for both races this year.

RE: EMOTIONS ALONG WITH EVERYTHING HAPPENING TODAY

They're pretty high, obviously, being able to win the race and the only thing I'm going to say is that I'm behind my brother 100% and usually things in the media are false and that's just what it comes down to sometimes and the deal was today was to go out and win with our Kellogg's Chevrolet and we did that, so I'm happy to be here. It's fortunate with my situation and I'm ecstatic getting ready to go to go to Homestead to give it one more try.

RE: EMOTIONS FOR YOURSELF THIS MORNING, HOW DO YOU AS A RACE CAR DRIVER, BLOCK THAT OUT AND GO AND DO YOUR JOB?

You just do. You just try to put all that stuff aside and deal with it another time. This isn't the area for all that stuff. It shouldn't be at the race track. For myself, just being able to go out there and perform at my best, that's what I'm here to do week in and week out. There shouldn't be any distractions that happen, whether or not you're on the rocks with your girlfriend or you're doing whatever else outside, you come in here and you get in your race car and you're focused and you're down to one duty and that's obviously to win the race.

RE: AFTER 2004'S BUSCH RACE YOU WERE PRETTY LOW THAT YOU WEREN'T GOING TO WIN THE BUSCH CHAMPIONSHIP. COMPARE AND CONTRAST THAT TO NOW, WINNING A RACE IN PHOENIX.

Well, I think that the experience level that I have now is definitely a little bit more than what I had here this time here last year in the Busch Series race. And, I had a great battle over there with Jamie McMurray and just wasn't able to beat him. And today I had a great battle with Greg Biffle and we were both driving the wheels off our cars, maybe him just a little bit more so than mine, and I had a little bit more rear tire left after the race and it was great for me to be able to prevail over him today and I had a great time racing with him today-he's a great competitor out there and I just want to thank him for being able to race me that way and we've always been able to race that way. Everybody can have their run-ins, which I'm sure everybody will every once in a while, but Greg's a pretty great guy to race with.

RE: WHAT WAS SAID IN THE MEDIA ABOUT YOUR BROTHER THAT WAS FALSE?

To respond to the last question, there is a lot of speculation in the media. The only things that are there for us to comment on are whatever Kurt Busch releases at a later time. If you have any other race-related questions, I'm happy to answer.

WHEN YOU WERE A LAP DOWN FOLLOWING GREG BIFFLE, YOU SAID YOU LEARNED SOMETHING. WHAT WAS THAT?

Basically I was following Biffle -- trying to get my lap back -- where he was beating me was through the center of the corner. My car had just gotten too tight at that time in the race and I was just trying to work on the things I needed to do in order to make that part of the race better for me and make my car adapt to it more. I was basically trying to loosen it up a bit without trying to get too loose up off the corner. There was a little bit of compromise there, and seeing what he was doing would be able to help me out if I was able to get back up to the front, which I was able to do.

WHEN YOU GOT A LAP DOWN, YOU HAD TO COME IN BECAUSE YOU FELT A VIBRATION IN THE CAR AND IT WAS RIGHT BEFORE A CAUTION SO YOU MADE THE LAP UP. LATE IN THE RACE WHEN BIFFLE PASSED YOU, DID YOU THINK YOU COULDN'T GET BY AGAIN?

To answer your first question, I felt the right front tire was going down. In the Truck race, I had completely worn out the right front tire. It was sliding up the race track and not turning for me anymore. Today, I started having that same characteristic with the Kellogg's Chevrolet and I wanted to make sure we weren't going to blow a tire. There were a couple of tire problems and I wanted to make sure we weren't one of those. When I came down pit road, we ended up changing our tires and got a couple of laps down -- same thing that happened in the Truck race. We were able to get them both back and come back through the field and prevail.

The second part of your question, when everybody thought Biffle was going to pass me and check out and be gone, I just wanted to make sure I kept enough pressure on him (Biffle) to where he was still going to keep overdriving his race car. I wanted to keep my distance from him and not get into him being a Chase competitor that he is. I tried to race him as clean as I possibly could. We never put a tire mark on each other. I thought it was great racing. I hope it was as good on TV for the fans as it was in the driver's seat.

TALK ABOUT THE RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AND WHAT THAT WOULD MEAN TO YOU TO WIN IT?

It's a great honor to be able to receive that award. It just means you're the top freshman in the class. You come into a new series and you're able to prevail. We were able to win a couple of races this year and had a couple of top fives and top 10's and we've also had our down times. But it means a lot being able to get that award. Heading into next week I'm looking forward to it. I don't know if it's going to be handed to me next week or a couple of weeks after or what. But being as though we've pretty much wrapped it up, it's an honor to put my name on that list of drivers who have won it and to be the youngest one is also an honor to me.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO OUTRACE A GUY LIKE GREG BIFFLE AT YOUR LEVEL AS A ROOKIE?

It means a lot just to be able to be out there and race with Greg is pretty neat. For as how dominant as he was, for me to prevail over him just shows that we never gave up. We were able to work from a lap down and get out lap back and come back through the field again and then be able to have a three-way battle for the lead was great. But to be able to outrace those guys at the end -- I'm not sure if I kept my tires on a little better than him, but that's all I can really think is why I beat him today.

WHAT MAKES THE BUSCH BROTHERS SUCH GREAT DRIVERS AND WERE YOU THE PESKY LITTLE BROTHER WHILE HE WAS GETTING ON WITH HIS CAREER?

I'm not sure what makes us good or whether or not we're good at any track. We were both able to win here at PIR this year, which is a great accomplishment. I don't know if that's the first time brothers have won at the same track in a year, but I think it's pretty cool.

Of course I was a pesky little brother. Any little brother usually is. I always wanted to outdo him as much as I could and try to beat him at any sport. We've always had a fierce rivalry but it's always friendly.

AS A HENDRICK ORGANIZATION, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN HELP JIMMIE JOHNSON WIN AT HOMESTEAD NEXT WEEKEND?

Without being disrespectful and wrecking Stewart or something like that, all we can really do is help with car set and things like that. We worked as much as we could at Talladega helping Jimmie to get to the front. He and Jeff were running well but it didn't really matter there because they got caught up in a wreck. But next week, I'm just hoping he can have a smooth race along with all the other competitors really. But maybe he could go out there an lead all the laps and win the race.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN AT PIR IN YOUR SECOND ATTEMPT?

Oh, it means a lot. It's really cool to come to a place like this and win. The first race I ever saw was Terry Labonte winning here. Jeff has been coming here for a bunch of years but still has not won at Phoenix. For me, just to get any wins, means a lot -- especially in my rookie season. I'm looking forward to trying to get a couple more next year.

DID KURT BUSCH GIVE YOU ANY ADVICE THAT HELPED YOU WIN TODAY?

No, I never really talked to him about this place. There were some things that I was able to learn in the Truck race that helped.

YOU COMPLIMENTED GREG BIFFLE ON A CLEAN RACE. YOU MIGHT BE IN THE MINORITY ABOUT THAT:

"I don't know. I'm happy we raced that way. It was cool. With him being a Chase competitor and us racing that hard was kind of a surprise to me. I figured he would lay off and finish second and take his points. But he raced me as hard as he could like he wasn't in the Chase and that was pretty cool.

Alan Gustafson -- Crew Chief -- #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet

It was a real hard-fought race. We thought we had a tire problem there midway through the race and had to come in there for a green-flag stop. So, it got us behind a little bit, got a lap down and we were tailing the lead lap and the team and Kyle did an awesome job in battling back and had some good pit stops and got us some track position and got out front there. An awesome job and got the Kellogg's Chevrolet into victory lane.

EXPLAIN STRATEGY TO GET UP TO THE FRONT

We were going more for the win. We don't have much to lose right now-we're not in the Chase and when we get an opportunity like that, with the way we had that tire problem it gave us an opportunity to be out of sequence with the leaders and thought it would be a good time to take advantage of it and go for the win.

RE: FINAL STOP

I think the biggest thing was coming in first there. They all came down and Jeff came in, I think about fourth or fifth or sixth and he took two to get his track position and coming down first gave us an opportunity get four and be in front of the guys with four. So, we were the first car with four tires and I think that was the key. Executing that pit stop is a big deal, because without that, we wouldn't have had a shot, so obviously they did a good job there.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS WIN FOR 2006?

It's a big deal. We have had real good cars the last couple of weeks and haven't been able to finish the races out. At Texas we had a real good car and then we had a car that was leading. That got us down a little bit so going into the offseason we wanted to get back up and get the momentum going, get a win, or at least some good top fives so everybody is on the upbeat on the offseason and we were able to do that today.

TALK ABOUT WHERE YOU TEAM IS AT FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP RUN

I think we really have to work on our consistency. I think our highs are high and we're in contention to win races and lead laps and run real well. We don't really have any tracks that we specifically struggle at except the speedways-we've really got to work on that program. We've really got to be able to work ourselves out of the 30th and 40th place finish and turn those days into 20th place finishes or teens, so that's the biggest thing is working on the consistency, and I think we can be there.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Terry Labonte , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports