Ford 200 Post-Race Transcript
November 19, 2010
An Interview With:
KYLE BUSCH - Race winner, champion team owner
ERIC PHILLIPS - Crew chief
THE MODERATOR: Let's roll into our post-race for our winning team. Kyle Busch, he wins the Ford 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra TRAXXAS Toyota and his crew chief Eric Phillips joins us. For Kyle this is his 24th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win, his eighth series win in 2010, his 85th national series win in NASCAR, and he is also the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owners champion with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Kyle, congratulations. This has to be one of your more remarkable wins after taking that thing into the wall and just everything tonight. Congratulations. How were you able to do it?
KYLE BUSCH: It definitely wasn't the way we wanted to do it, but it turned out the way it was pretty exciting hopefully for everybody on TV and sitting in the stands. But these guys do such a great job at Kyle Busch Motorsports, and this weekend that TRAXXAS Tundra was quick. Just had to keep it out front. We were doing that pretty good for much of the race there, just fighting really loose, and I got in the wall a little bit there and then we come down pit road and we fixed it and put tires on it, tightened it up a little bit where I could really drive it and drive it hard.
Then coming back up through there things were getting a little bit crazy. I don't even know where I was on the back stretch. One time I was in the middle of a gaggle that was probably 15, 20 trucks but somehow we made it through that and we just made our way back up towards the front. I knew we could do it. I knew we had a fast truck, and I just thought if you could be a little bit patient but yet be really aggressive you could get up there and do it.
There were some times where I would get out of the of the gas and wait and kind of let things sort out, but you had to get right back in it and try to get through there. These guys have done a phenomenal job all year. I can't thank everybody from Eric Phillips here making race calls on top of that box to Rick Ren putting this whole deal together with me and helping me get the right people in the right places.
As Joe Gibbs would tell you, you win with people, and it doesn't matter whether you're in the NFL or NASCAR, but I feel like I won with my people this year, and the guys that we had on board were just tremendous supporters of mine and worked long, hard hours in the shop, never gave up, never held their head down, never pouted about how much we were working but just kept working and being able to make sure that we were to the next race.
You can't ever show up late. Practice is on time in the morning, so you can't never miss out on any of that.
THE MODERATOR: Kyle, you've won a drivers championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series; now in the Truck Series you've won an owners champion. You're 25 years of age, you've got 85 national series wins. How does it feel to be an owners champion, as well, in this sport of ours?
KYLE BUSCH: It's excellent. I mean, that's what we set out in the beginning of the year to do was to come out here and work as hard as we could, to work with two different drivers at first, myself and Brian Ickler, but when Brian got the call to go drive some Roush Racing stuff, we brought in Johnny Benson for a race and we brought in Kasey Kahne for a race, and without all those guys being able to give us good, solid finishes we wouldn't be in this position.
So it's to them, it's to Eric, it's to Rick, all these guys. For myself, I mean, it's just the name on the door that said Kyle Busch Motorsports, and maybe that's who the checks are signed by, but it takes a lot more than just that to go to the racetrack week in and week out. Their families and their families' support and my support from Samantha and my mom and dad and my brother, too -- I mean, being 25 years old and being in this spot now, winning an owners championship, we never would have thought.
But we're still under a year. We haven't even gotten to our year anniversary yet of the doors being open, so it's pretty special to be in this position, and again, it wouldn't be possible without all these guys, especially Eric.
THE MODERATOR: Eric, congratulations. You've been a part of many, many of these wins now with Kyle and being able to celebrate here tonight at the season finale has to mean a lot to you.
ERIC PHILLIPS: Yeah, it does. It's just an honor to work with these guys. Kyle and Rick gave me this opportunity. It's been a phenomenal year. The guys, most of the people haven't been here ten months yet. Just to be able to do this the way we did it, that was the biggest thing coming in this weekend. I wanted to win. We wanted to come here, lead the most laps, sit on the pole and win the race. We did two -- or three of the four, I guess. But we come up a little short on the pole. But we just wanted to put a stamp on it that this team is really good, we do a good job every week, and we keep fighting.
I think when he got in the wall tonight, that shows what kind of race team this is. We fight through it, we don't get excited, we fix the truck, and Kyle does a great job on the racetrack.
Q: Kyle, you talked about it even in victory lane. How tough is the sponsorship market right now and do you have any sense of what your outlook is for next season?
KYLE BUSCH: It's very tough and it's very unfortunate, too, because I feel like we've got a great product, we've got a bunch of great people and I've got a great relationship, not only with Joe Gibbs Racing but with Joe and with all the people at M&M's-Mars and all the people at whether it be FedEx, whether it be Home Depot, I can utilize all those. So different business-to-business avenues, I've got so many different ways to work it and that's what I've been doing a lot this year, trying to get some stuff done and some stuff built up and trying to bring up some good ideas to people.
With all the people that I've been able to talk to, I can't get the pen to the paper. I'd have three full-time trucks fully fended right now if I could just get everything signed up and ready to go. Once it comes down to committing it's hard to get that to happen, and it's not that they're going somewhere else or to another team, it's just they're not doing anything.
It's a struggle, and it's hard on me, and it's hard on Eric and it's hard on Rick and all these guys to know what we're doing going into the off-season. I wish I had better news.
Q: Eric, how many guys, do you have any idea, on your team have ever won a championship like this, or is it new for a lot of them?
ERIC PHILLIPS: I think it's new. Woody, my truck driver, was with Johnny a couple years ago when they won the championship. Other than that, most of them haven't. Two of the guys have been with me for a long time. One of them, our parents grew up together, so that's pretty special. Any time you win with guys that haven't been to victory lane, and it's my first time as a championship, so it's a big deal. It was a big deal to do it at Homestead. You know, a good friend of mine lost his life here, and he's a guy that gave me this opportunity in John Nemechek. I just wanted to win tonight. This is such a big deal.
Q: You say you set out to win the championship, but realistically, were your goals a little more modest, or did you honestly feel eight wins and the championship was within reach for a brand-new 11-month-old team?
KYLE BUSCH: That was the goal. I mean, that was the goal when we set out. I would never have started it if I couldn't get the right people, and Rick Ren was the first start of that. I knew him being a championship crew chief and the roles that he's played over at Kevin Harvick's and the other places that he's been, Addington's and all that kind of stuff, he's been around the series for a long time. He's a very smart guy. He's a very good people person. He knows how to build race teams and personalities and race teams, and he spends a lot of time devoting himself to that and putting it all up on his white board and everything and trying to figure it all out, and he stairs at it for hours.
He's very methodical and he's very, very smart. I didn't know any of that before hiring him, I just knew that he was good at what he did. And Eric coming on board and being able to prepare us fast race trucks, we took a lot of his notes, we took a lot of Wren's notes and we pieced them together with myself, too, because I won seven races last year, Eric won three races last year, and Rick won another five or six, so with all three of us put together we won 14 races or something last year, and we knew we could do that again this year, and so it's just been a ride.
In the beginning of the year I remember I told Eric and I told Wren after Atlanta, Harvick just handed it to us, and I was like, we're not going to do it if we're going to run like this, and we finished second. It was kind of funny. These guys dug in deep, worked hard and got us to where we are tonight.
Q: You've shown your resilience all year long, whether it's the kind of thing that happened tonight or coming back from a pit road speeding penalty, something like that. I was just wondering with Denny on the verge perhaps of a championship, whether the fact that he went through surgery and came back from that throughout the course of the year elevated your level of respect for him and his toughness?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, sure. I've had a level of respect with Denny since I joined JGR in that he's a great race car driver. He does a lot of good -- he's helped me an awful lot at the short tracks, I've helped him a lot at the mile and a half stuff and we've worked with each other at being able to further along JGR, and I think that relationship between us these past two years and with Joey these past two years has gotten Denny to where he is. I mean, I can't take a lot of credit, I'm just saying I feel like we've both helped each other out.
You know, Denny, he's got a lot on the line this weekend and I can't imagine being in his shoes, and hopefully one of these days I am in his shoes, but I mean, tomorrow I've got to do the same thing I did tonight. I've got to go out there and race hard and maybe race a little bit more cautiously because I got less of a point margin than I did tonight, and I'm sure his blood pressure went up tonight, but we made it through tonight, and hopefully we can make it through tomorrow and then again on Sunday and bring home three Toyota championships and all somehow affiliated with me, I guess.
Q: Kyle, you won the owners championship over Germain, and it sounds like Germain is going to expand to maybe three trucks next year from what we're hearing. Do you think that'll make them stronger or will it make them weaker?
KYLE BUSCH: I can't imagine it doing anything but making them stronger. They're going to have more people to pull from, they're going to have more opportunities to learn things, to try things. It's no different than a three-car or a four-car team in the Cup Series. Depending on who the drivers are, I mean, I guess it's Todd and then it's Max Papis. I don't know who the third one is. Brendan Gaughan? Okay, first I heard that. Yeah, you have opportunities there to learn from everybody and to learn things and to try different things across the board, so it should help.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Kyle Busch. Congratulations, Eric Phillips, and job well done tonight and this season.