KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finished: 1st How strong was your race car today? "I can't say enough about the guys on this team - Joe Gibbs Racing guys do a phenomenal job. NOS Energy Drink, ...
No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How strong was your race car today?
"I can't say enough about the guys on this team - Joe Gibbs Racing guys do a phenomenal job. NOS Energy Drink, Z-Line Designs, this Camry was flawless and really, really good. Unfortunately there at the end, I don't know what happened, I don't know if we had a wheel loose or what was going on. It started vibrating and shaking real bad. I wasn't imagining things, it did happen. That was worrying me quite a bit. I have to thank Gillette and Nationwide Insurance, of course Combo's, Marquis Jets and all the guys that have made this thing possible. It's really fun to come out here and love running these cars and winning with Jason Ratcliff and all these boys."
What does it mean to break the single season win record in the Nationwide Series?
"It's pretty spectacular to be associated with these guys and have these guys win with me. Leo's (Thorson, car chief) here, it's his first time in victory lane. I told him if I ever break 10 wins, you're coming to victory lane. Sure enough, we did today and it's cool to get a guy like that who for some reason just doesn't like to come celebrate and says, 'That's what we're here to do, we're here to win races and not to celebrate' Tonight we're going to celebrate."
Do you feel this win today will help you possibly win tomorrow's Sprint Cup race?
"I'm certainly hoping that it pays due tomorrow too with our Interstate Batteries Camry. It was pretty good in practice. Unfortunately, we're kind of battling back and forth between tight and loose a little bit. Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and I were really communicating well on talking about things and really trying to strategize what we're going to do. Learned quite a bit here today with this thing so I'll take that knowledge and go back to Dave with it and talk to him tonight to see what we can work on to try to make sure that thing gets to victory lane."
Did you consider pitting at the end of the race for the vibration?
"There was, for a second. I was like, 'Man, what's more important, this win right here for number 11 or a Cup championship.' If it was a left-rear wheel and it would have fell off going into the corner, you would have one wail of a hit. These guys do a great job and they gave me awesome pit stops today so I can't imagine that's what it was. It would have been fun to come out here and race Joey (Logano) like that and to put on a good show in front of the fans and have him close in at the end. I know everybody was probably hoping he could have got me, but we stayed there today."
Where does this record stack up to your other records in the series?
"It's very cool and very fitting to come out here and beat one of the greats in Sam Ard and be able to put my win up there as number 11 - the most of all-time in a season. We still have more races to go. I'm looking forward to more wins, hopefully. This is the first time that we got one of the guys on our team to victory lane - he's got superstitions or something. I told him that win number 11 he had to come to victory lane so he's here today."
How does this record compare to the sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway?
"It's all good. You can't really compare all of them. The first win I ever had in the Cup Series is big. The first win in Nationwide that I ever had is always cool. Every win that you get is always something else that you can just rack up and keep putting up on the shelf and keep adding your name to the record books with. For me, it's all about going out there and trying to do it week in and week out and next week's another week."
Are you ever amazed at all the accomplishments you have at the age of 25?
"Not really. For myself, I like to go out there and come to think I could win every weekend. There's those weekends that you don't win and you're a little disappointed and something didn't go your way or you made a mistake or things happen on pit road. For where I am and where this team is this year and what we've been able to accomplish, I'm very fortunate to be where I'm at and couldn't be happier for myself, for Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing that has been a part of this and has made this happen."
What does it mean to break the record held by Sam Ard?
"It's very special. Sam (Ard) is a great individual and was a great driver in his time. For myself to come out and be able to compete at that level and get as many wins in a season is hard enough to do. For where Sam Ard was in his day and for where we are today, I feel like a lot has changed in this sport and of course, it's always challenging to go out there and get a win on a given weekend. For us to win 11 this year is very, very special to me and that's why I say it should be so special to Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and all these guys on the team because they were all a part of it."
JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
What does this day mean to you?
"This has been one day that we've been waiting for. Everybody's worked extremely hard. There are so many people, I can't thank them all. It would take me all night. Great group at Joe Gibbs Racing, the 18 team - the road crew, the pit crew, the engine shop, just everybody has a part of this and these 11 wins that we've been able to accomplish so far. I know it's a huge accomplishment for Kyle (Busch). I'm really thankful to be a part of that. Great car today. We worked on it in practice and we felt like, looking back at our notes from last year, we knew what direction we needed to go, where we needed to end practice to be good for the day. The car took off really good and I think that was our strong suit, that we were really good in the first 20 laps of a run. Once you get the first 20 laps under your belt, then the guys may close in on you, but not enough to get up there and pass you. Great job on pit road, we made some adjustments. We had a scare there on the last stop, after the big caution that threw debris all over the race track, we felt like we needed to pit and make sure that we didn't have a flat. We had a right-rear tire on the wall and we were fixing to put on the car and all of the sudden we noticed that it had a slow leak in it. We had to regroup really quick and put a set of scuffs on the right side and adjust some air pressures, trying to figure out what that was going to do to the car. It worked out, great day, again great day by Kyle and great accomplishment for all of us."
-source: toyota motorsports