Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS, who is currently seventh in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points talks with the media about returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway for his sixth race here, improving his performance at this track...
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS, who is currently seventh in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points talks with the media about returning to Atlanta Motor Speedway for his sixth race here, improving his performance at this track and his expectations for the Bristol race.
ON HIS ACTIVITIES WITH ANIMALS THIS WEEK AND ON THE UPCOMING RACE WEEKEND: "It went pretty well over there. We're doing a part with the Garden Safe SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conversation Fund. It's an effort over there to be more in tune with conversation fund that Buschs Garden and SeaWorld have. For this week we're actually going to donate $100 for every lap that is completed by the NASCAR Busch Series race car, the No. 5 car. That can total about $19,500 and of course if we win the race they're going to double that. That's a chance to go up to $39,000 so we're very excited about that as well as Lowe's donating 50 cents for every Garden Safe product that is purchased at Lowe's. They're going to donate 50 cents toward the conservation fund and that effort as well too. We're excited about that and having them on our race car this weekend to promote that a little bit more and get people more in tune to that kind of stuff and of course springtime is just around the corner so we're looking forward to it.
"As far as this weekend here in Atlanta, it's a tough race track for me for some reason. I run well at its sister tracks and stuff like that but it's a great opportunity here for this weekend to try and turn that around a little bit. Hopefully we can do that. We've got a race car I believe in with the Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet and we're looking forward to being able to have a good race on Sunday."
ARE YOU MORE COMFORTABLE RETURNING TO A TRACK THAT YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH SO THERE ARE NO SURPRISES? "Yeah, pretty much. It's always good to be able to be back at familiar territory. Of course here at Atlanta it's nice to be able to come back here and have a tire that we've run on before I believe as well as the normal fuel cell that we run every week and stuff like that. This year is a little bit different anyways because now we're running that 17-and-a-half gallon fuel from our 22 that we've run in the past so it's a little bit smaller but still it's more so like you said, back to normal. Coming out of Las Vegas, it was a tough weekend for most there and especially with the way the cars drove but we knew that somebody was going to get paid to win and luckily it was Hendrick Motorsports' 150th (win) with Jimmie Johnson and being a whole part of that was pretty cool. I'm looking forward to being back here this weekend as well as being able to go on to some of the more traditional stuff. Now as far as next week goes, I'm not so sure."
ON THE HEARTBREAK OF NOT BEING ABLE TO WIN AT HIS HOME TRACK IN LAS VEGAS DESPITE HIS EFFORT: "It doesn't really matter. It's just like any other race track. You try to win as best you can at any race track and to be so close in the Busch Series race, that was definitely pretty disappointing and heartbreaking but you'll win some, you lose some, you'll have that. It was a good effort by our whole team and a great race car that we had there. I hate it that we wrecked it especially there at the end of the race but (Jeff) Burton had a better car there at the end of the race than we did. They deserved the win more so than we did really. The Cup effort on Sunday, we had a good race car there in the beginning. I think everybody was just further off than ours was at the start so that's maybe why we looked better in the start of the race than we did more so towards the middle. Our car was so loose all day long. I was just barely hanging on pretty much all day. Finally I just got into turn three a little bit there and tried turn to the center of the corner and it got loose and it just stayed loose and I couldn't catch it. That's why we spun out there but finally at the end of the day we got it back tightened up and we were the tightest we'd ever been at the end of the day so we couldn't make up much ground there. It was probably better to leave it looser when I was back in traffic than it was to get it tighter. It was just a tough day overall. Luckily we came out of there with a ninth place finish. We probably should have ended up with about an 18th or 17th or something like that."
WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING NEXT WEEKEND IN BRISTOL? ARE THE GOOD TEAMS STILL GOING TO BE GOOD? "My opinion is that it's just going to be same as it always is. The good teams are going to run good. The bad teams aren't necessarily run going to run bad, they're just not going to run as well as the good teams. RCR definitely has a good Car of Tomorrow program as well as Gibbs that looked liked they had one. Those teams tested pretty well. Jimmie (Johnson) was pretty good in our camp but for myself, I ran a couple of good times but I couldn't run them consistently enough that I was happy with so we need to go back and review a little bit better what we are doing. The 4 car was running pretty well there. He had his troubles. I'm not sure what happened with that. Overall I don't really know what to expect. We're just going to be all over the place. A couple of guys were talking about bouncing room because we go in a corner and bounce up the race track because the springs are so stiff. We're going to have to leave each other about three feet of room when we're trying to pass each other. It's a tough race. The guys that were fastest kind of learned that you need to back the corners up a little bit and enter a little bit slower to hold the car on the bottom and kind of gas it up for off. And the other guys that were further back in the field were still driving it in like we would on a normal car so if you have a good car that gets a pit road penalty and he gets back in the pack and he lifts early and the guy behind trunks him, you're probably still going to wreck. Already it's looking to be a fun race so I'm sure there will be plenty on TV to talk about."
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS HOW THE CARS WILL OPERATE IF THEY GET A LOT OF DAMAGE NEXT WEEKEND? "The biggest thing you just try to keep the car in one piece if you can but if you do have a problem where you knock the splitter off or something like that, it's definitely going to make it different. It's not going to drive probably as good as it was with the splitter. It's a first situation for everybody out there next week. We really all don't know what is going is on but as far as anything else, there's issues with anything new. Guys tried the coil bind setup. There were issues with that when we first started it. There were issues with the big springs when somebody started that. I don't know. We've definitely got to make sure that we try to keep at least one of them in decent enough shape because our primary car is our primary for Bristol and the backup is probably going to be our primary for Martinsville the week after so if we can at least come out of there with one and a half race cars, we can have a good shot at going back to back. Then of course the week after Martinsville, I think is the Richmond test so we have to have three cars right there that are ready to go to the race track just in case something happens to another one."
-credit: gm racing