Dover teleconference call transcript May 21, 2008, 11:30 a.m. Kyle Busch, No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Gary Camp , Dover International Speedway: Thanks for joining us for this teleconference today to talk a little bit about the upcoming ...
Dover teleconference call transcript
May 21, 2008, 11:30 a.m.
Kyle Busch, No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports
, Dover International Speedway:
Thanks for joining us for this teleconference today to talk a little bit about the upcoming Dover International Speedway race weekend. Kyle, you're going to be a busy man here in Dover. Talk a little bit about that. Three series, three races in three days.
, No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports:
Well it's pretty much common in Dover. I've done that the past couple years and I'm looking forward to doing that again. This year we've got Toyota everything. So its got a pretty good truck program and we were pretty fast at Lowe's Motor Speedway before we got caught up in a wreck, but I feel like we can go to Dover and carry a run as we did there in the past and go out there and try and win that thing. And then the Nationwide stuff, I'll be in the Braun car for the No. 32 team and hopefully have a good day with that thing and see what the new restrictor plate is going to be like for the Nationwide stuff and get back on with our COT on the Cup side. So looking forward to three great days of racing.
Camp: Last year at Dover the trucks actually ran faster than the Cup cars. Do you expect the same this weekend?
Busch: I don't think it will be that way this year. The Nationwide cars might be quicker, but it'll probably be close. Since they put the restrictors on the Nationwide and on the Trucks they've sort of slowed them things down in order to keep the Cup cars faster. But the Cup cars don't have the corner speed that the trucks and the Nationwide cars do, so it definitely is a whole new game in all three.
Camp: How do you approach a 200-mile race here versus a 400-mile race?
Busch: Well the 200-mile race isn't too bad and neither is the 400, but it tends to get pretty long on the 400-lap race because you've got so much going on and you've got to run almost the same line every single lap. At least I do. I don't tend to be successful when I move around the racetrack at Dover or anytime I move off that bottom white line of the race track. I seem to fall behind a little bit, so it's kind of tough sometimes.
Camp: Friday you have your Nationwide practice, then you qualify for the trucks in the Friday morning, then you practice in a Cup car. Then you practice in a Nationwide car. Then you have Cup qualifying in the afternoon, and then the Truck race. How do you do all that? How do you keep it all straight?
Busch: Well, you try to find time to eat, but besides that, it's not that bad. You know, I've been pretty used to it going back and forth and switching between all three, you just have to remember what you're marks are in each different vehicle. You got to remember where you brake, you got to remember where you gas, you got to remember how much brake and everything. It's just a matter of having a good memory I guess, which I don't have a very good memory.
Camp: I'll turn it over to the media. Any questions from the media?
Q: I've got a question more on the relationship with Toyota. You've become the Toyota banner carrier, and you've given Toyota success this year in the Sprint Cup. Do you feel any pressure from Toyota in regards to your performance on the track and also have you heard from them at all about supposedly being the most hated man in NASCAR?
Busch: Well, no I don't really hear much from the Toyota folks as far as carrying their banner or doing anything else for them. Actually we're having a great relationship and we've been doing everything we're supposed to do, which is to go out there and win races and be competitive and be fast. Over the winter time, I've switched over my Late Model team from the Chevrolet stuff to the Toyota stuff and the truck stuff is also switched over, and of course, all of Joe Gibbs Racing, so it's been a long winter but besides that it's going pretty well. And no, they haven't said anything as far as being the most hated guy in NASCAR. I don't think that's necessarily fair. I think it's just for me. I'm out there to do a job, and my job is to win races.
Q: Talk a little bit about how you've had so much success in all three series. Does it surprise you a little bit? I mean, it's pretty remarkable what you're doing.
Busch: I wouldn't say it's surprising. I mean I'm definitely grateful that we've been as successful as we have been in all three series, but you know, anything can change at any time so we've just got to keep it going. We've had some good looks on everything so far, and this past weekend we didn't have very much luck, so you kind of win some and lose some. This past weekend we lost a couple and we feel like there were a few great wins we could have had in the truck and Cup, but sometimes stuff happens. We'll take the good with the bad and hopefully more good than bad.
Q: When it comes to racing the trucks, are the trucks more similar to Nationwide cars or Cup cars, or are they just totally different?
Busch: All of them are pretty much totally different. The Nationwide and the trucks are kind of the same. I guess they're the closest. Because you can almost run the trucks wide open everywhere, not everywhere, but at the big tracks. And then the Nationwide cars, you run a lot of throttle time with those cars and the Cup cars you don't have a whole lot of throttle time through the corners, so you kind of struggle a little bit there to get the cars through the corner fastest with the limited amount of travel in them. We're working on that stuff. You know the driving between the truck and Nationwide cars, like I said, are probably much similar.
Q: It seems like a lot of the guys, the drivers who are more aggressive and speak their minds, get casts as villains, and then some guys who are more agreeable with the media and give a little more space on the track, they get dismissed as being the corporate sell-out type, or some fans will tell drivers they are. Do you as drivers feel that you can't win as far as the fans are concerned, as far as they are going to pigeon hole you one way or the other?
Busch: I never won when I first got here so to me it doesn't really matter. I just go out there and do my job, which is to win races.
Q: The media and the fans don't hear a lot about Steve Addington. Can you just tell us what he's like and what we don't know about him?
Busch: He's a real laid back dude who cares a lot about his racing. Steve has really been a lot of great help to me. He's been a father-type figure per say. It's kind of like Kurt and Jimmy Fenning were really good together when they ran, and you know, Steve has the experience. He has made my job easier and makes us get a long better, so it's definitely pretty cool to have Steve. Like I said, he's pretty laid back and cares a lot about what he does and how it's done. He likes to win races just like the rest of us.
Q: Running three races in three days must take a physical demand on your body. What do you do to prepare? Do you workout? Do you try to eat right? What's your routine like? Is it year round?
Busch: It's pretty much year round and I try to do what I can to stay healthy to keep up on the workout regiment and stuff. Everyday I'm home I normally work out two hours, whether it's in the morning or at night. I try to eat as healthy as I can just trying to stay fit. In all that respect, for me it's not too demanding on the body. There was a time last year where we ran three weekends in a row I think with the three races, and so it wasn't too bad, I was ok actually. Mondays and Tuesdays getting back up I feel pretty good so I guess it's working.
Q: You've had the benefit of being around champions like your brother, Jeff (Gordon), Jimmie (Johnson), Tony (Stewart). How do you think they have helped you as compared to an aspiring young guy in ARCA who will never get that opportunity?
Busch: Well I'd say being able to be around champions in general anytime is obviously a great help. For me to work with as many as I've worked with and to be associated with all of them that I've been with it's definitely pretty cool. To learn some of the things that they've been able to teach me and tell me, on-track stuff more so than off-track stuff, but some off-track stuff, just knowing how busy you are when you're a champion. I really just admire those guys when they are champions in the following years for how good they still run and how much stuff they have to do. Appearance wise for NASCAR, for Sprint, for whomever it might be, they have to go out and do stuff for especially their own sponsors, so there are a lot of demands that are out there for them.
Q: Do you see any common traits that they have that you have also?
Busch: Well, I mean, they are all pretty fast on the racetrack, but you know just how driven we are and wanting to be as good and as successful as we can possibly be.
Q: Can you walk me through your three days, as far as how you get through your race, practices, and everything like that?
Busch: Well, I've got some pretty good help. I've got a guy that works with me to get me back and forth and keeps my schedule so I know what I'm doing, because I don't have any clue. But Thursday, we'll probably fly in Thursday morning. I think we have a practice from 1 p.m., or 2 p.m. or 3 p.m., or something like that, for a couple hours for the truck stuff on Thursday. Then Friday we've got practice at 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning for the Nationwide stuff, and then qualifying for the trucks, and then we go into Cup practice for a couple hours. Then we'll qualify the Cup cars and then I think we practice the Nationwide stuff again for the second and final practice. Then we'll get into the truck race, so all of that's on Friday. Then Saturday, we've got Cup practices in the morning time and then I've got the Nationwide race. Then Sunday we've got the Cup race. It's a pretty busy schedule and not knowing when all my appearances are yet, and stuff like that, but it will fill up even more.
Q: Do you feel like a kid in a candy store with all this racing you've got going on?
Busch: The on-track stuff is good. I like doing the on-track stuff. I mean the off-track stuff is part of it and what not. But I feel more at home and in my realm when I'm out there on the race track.
Q: You're having a much more successful season than your brother Kurt. Does that put any strain on the relationship and how much do you guys talk?
Busch: Well I would say that Kurt, who's a champion, is struggling I guess. He moved scenes and last year they sort of picked it up and got going with their mile-and-a-half stuff, and their Pocono and Indy stuff. They were really really fast but you know this year with the full-time COT, they are just struggling. They haven't figured it out and I'd say it's not necessarily their driver. I'd say its got a lot to do with the team and the engineers and stuff. Having them get better and get the cars better and stuff. I know Kurt is a champion and I know he's a great driver, and for him to be struggling, it's kind of sad to say, but that's what's happening right now. I don't know what to tell him that I could tell him in order to fix it, but I'm sure those guys are working on it and working on it hard. We talked a little bit but you know it's more off-track stuff than on-track really.
Q: You're in the same equipment in the Cup series and Truck Series, but in the Nationwide Series you're in different cars every week and different crew chiefs. How much of a difference is it going back and forth?
Busch: There's a little bit of a difference there. I work really well with Dave Rogers and with Jason Ratcliff at Gibbs, and then also Trent Owens and also Todd Braun's group over there, and Todd Lohse who is going to be my crew chief this weekend, cause we've got three entries going into the Nationwide race. There are some crew chiefs I've worked with on that side but it's pretty good. You just have to talk to them and tell them as much as you can and tell them what the car is doing and what you need in the car. We picked up a lot of stuff with the Charlotte test there. When I was in the Braun car I wasn't quite happy with it and I just kept telling them what I needed, and what I felt wasn't quite right, and we made some gains on it and got it a lot better.
Camp: Kyle what do you think about Joey Logano making his debut on Saturday in that No. 20 car?
Busch: I'm looking forward to it. I think he's a great talent. I think he's got a lot of stuff going for him. I think Denny's got a great shot at winning again at Lowe's Motor Speedway in that car, so if that happens it'll be something like 8 in a row for the Gibbs team. He'll have a lot to live up to, but I told him he doesn't have to go out there and win every race like we are. He's just got to go out there and learn, and pace himself, and be competitive and fast. You know that's the biggest thing he's got to do and not put yourself in the situations that are going to get you wrecked. I think he'll be fine. I think he'll do well. He ran there last year, he's won in the Busch East Series, so I feel like if he learns to adapt to these radial tires then he'll be really good.
Q: How long do you think you'll continue to try and race as much as you can?
Busch: Probably a couple more years at least I guess. You know probably more than two, but you know I'm trying to get the truck stuff developed into a good enough, strong enough team where we've got some equipment behind us to get drivers through there and using it as a proving ground for some drivers. If Toyota wants to use it or if I want to use it or whatever, it helps me work out. I feel like we've got a pretty good baseline team there now and we're just trying to get a sponsorship deal going there now and sign a couple-year deal to where we could do that and have a good operation. As far as the Nationwide stuff, they're going to the new car and that will bring it more back to the similarities between those cars and the Cup cars, going back and forth between Saturday and Sunday just to try and learn what's going on in the race track. I feel like I'm on my best when I run the three different series, just getting as much track time as I can, and so until I feel like its not as beneficial as it is now then I'll probably change.
Q: You say you have a great relationship with Toyota. What about that relationship makes it great?
Busch: I think just the willingness they give me to get me in stuff. I talk to them about my Late Model program and they're like 'Yeah, what can we do to help you out? And let's make it a Toyota deal!' So now they're all on top of that. I'm building a new shop and they want to know what they can do with the new shop and stuff, so it's just neat how we're working together. It's sort of like Kasey Kahne and his Sprint Car stuff where he's got Mopar standing behind him, and Tony Stewart has GM standing behind him for his open wheel stuff. I've got Toyota who wants to stand behind me for my little racing programs that I've got going on. It's definitely a pretty neat deal to work with those guys and develop relationships and have them on your side.
Q: You've won eight races through the three series so far this year so you've taken home a lot of trophies. Where would picking up a monster trophy rate?
Busch: It'd be pretty cool. I've won at Dover before in the Truck Series but they didn't have the monster trophy there yet, so I didn't get to take home that one. But it'd be pretty cool. I think we've got a great shot in all three series' to try and take home one and we'll see how it goes. But I feel like the Cup race for me there has always been a great race. I think I've finished in the top-5 in all but one of my races and I feel like it's a pretty good track for me. I like it a lot and the trucks are definitely going to be a good show too, to try and go out there and win in that thing too, and just keep the streak going.
Camp: Kyle, thank you very much. We'll see you very soon in Dover.
Busch: Alright guys. Best of luck and I'll see you next weekend.
-credit: dover motorsports.com