Bristol II: Winning team press conference, part 1

Bristol Motor Speedway August 21, 2010 An Interview With: KYLE BUSCH - Winner DAVE ROGERS - Crew chief J.D. GIBBS - President, Joe Gibbs Racing THE MODERATOR: Let's roll into our post-race winning team for tonight's Irwin Tools Night Race...

Bristol Motor Speedway
August 21, 2010

An Interview With:
DAVE ROGERS - Crew chief
J.D. GIBBS - President, Joe Gibbs Racing

THE MODERATOR: Let's roll into our post-race winning team for tonight's Irwin Tools Night Race here at Bristol Motor Speedway. Our winner was Kyle Busch. He drives the No. 18 Doublemint Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Joining him up here is his crew chief Dave Rogers along with team president J.D. Gibbs. Kyle becomes the first NASCAR driver in history to win all three national series events in the same weekend. This is his 19th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win, his third win in the series in 2010, his fourth win at Bristol.

So Kyle, you said in here on Wednesday night, and I remember you saying it, you would see me Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and you're a man of your word. Congratulations.

KYLE BUSCH: I appreciate it, man. It's so cool to be here three nights on this weekend. To put this Doublemint Camry in victory lane, the second time they've been on the car, and real proud of the effort by these guys, so I can't thank Dave and all the guys at Joe Gibbs Racing enough.

The pit stops tonight were flawless. Jimmie beat us out one time just because of pit selection. But unfortunately he had his troubles, but we were able to just get out there and kind of set sail. We had a really fast race car. Coming through the field was fun. Passing in front of those guys and working traffic the way you had to work traffic and just kind of pick and choose your way; do you go high, do you go low. You had to have a car that would really work anywhere.

I was unsure about it going in about how good our car was going to be, but Dave made some really good adjustments this morning and thought about it over the night to get us a good car for today. And so again, this Doublemint Camry was awesome, and it goes back to good teamwork.

THE MODERATOR: Dave Rogers, talk about the performance of the 18 team out here this evening.

DAVE ROGERS: Yeah, we're real proud of the entire 18 crew, the M&M's crew, Doublemint crew. We came off the truck really slow, and the car wasn't handling well at all, and just really proud of Kyle for sticking with us and giving us good feedback. We had great notes to go off from last night and this morning made a number of adjustments based on feedback we got, and the car was much better today and allowed Kyle to do what he needs to do.

THE MODERATOR: J.D., certainly a historic weekend for the race team, and also, Kyle, now his third win of the season. He gets the extra bonus points. Certainly he's got to be a contender for this NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.

J.D. GIBBS: Yeah, just the momentum you get from it. We had so many people here today, the Mars family, the Doublemint crew, so it was just encouraging to see them being able to celebrate with us. And obviously to cap it off, I sent off a few notes the past few days, and I've got to show you the one you sent me, it's kind of funny when you look at it. It was really a testament to Dave and Kyle and all that crew and just working hard. I think it was fun to see it, and hopefully that bodes well for the Chase for us.

Q: For J.D. and Dave, whoever said they were in the presence of greatness over the radio after the race, do you guys kind of feel at times when you're watching Kyle race that you're in the presence of greatness?

J.D. GIBBS: I've never quite used those terms, but I would say this: He's pretty good, you know, at what he does.

I think this weekend, that probably was appropriate, doing what he did, the first time; the truck thing, gets a little harder Nationwide and a little harder for the Cup thing, and to do all three of those back-to-back was a big deal. I think that's one of those things that will go down in the record books, and years from now I'll be able to say, hey, I remember when, and that was a lot of fun for us.

Q: Kyle, you talked before the race about how you've come close on a number of occasions to getting the "three-peat" so to speak. How satisfying is it to finally be able to accomplish that?

KYLE BUSCH: It's pretty cool because when you come so close and then don't get it, it's pretty frustrating. I mean, last year we won the truck race and were leading the Nationwide race and we got crashed out, and then we ended up winning the Cup race. So this is probably a year delayed.

But anyways, real appreciative of what was able to happen tonight. It was pretty special, and I feel a lot about how this team has worked so much through the past few weeks to try to get ourselves back on track. Coming to Bristol you could say, yeah, well, we're supposed to run well here. But still, it's cool to be able to put it all together in a complete weekend, with the truck, with the Nationwide car and with the Cup car.

I didn't feel like I quite had the Nationwide car capable of doing it. This tire must have thrown me for a little bit of a loop in practice. I couldn't get exactly what I wanted out of the car in practices. Same thing with the Cup car. So I was kind of a little optimistic about it.

But once you get out there in the race with everybody else, you kind of hear everybody complaining about the same things, but ours must have been kind of the best of everybody else's.

Q: You're booed unmercifully when you come out in introduction, someone calls you an ass and this place erupts, but then you make history. You drive around this track and there's more cheers than boos. Granted, it's about points, but is there some satisfaction in that tonight as you drive around that track and that place kind of realized what they saw and they're cheering?

KYLE BUSCH: Yes and no. I feel like I just come out here to do my job. I do what I'm supposed to do, and to win races is my job and what that entails. And secondly, it's to make J.D. happy and Dave and the sponsors and those guys happy. And then thirdly, it's to try to sell souvenirs. The fans are what drives this sport and what makes us go round and get us here every week. So it's cool to have them here, and they're passionate about who they like and who they don't like.

I feel like to me I've been in this position since the upstart of my career, since I was 16, and it hasn't changed, and I don't foresee it changing any time soon. We've asked this question about 50 million times and I'll probably get it 25 million more times. You know, you just deal with it, man. You just go out there and do what you can.

Q: While you were coming up through the field, there were guys like Jimmie and Tony and Carl Edwards all running towards the front, and then all of a sudden they all had problems almost all at the same time. When you're driving at that point are you cognizant of that, and do you all of a sudden realize that you're basically the best car in the field at that point?

KYLE BUSCH: I could have trouble. You know, so anything can happen in this game and at this stage. But you know, I don't even know what happened to Jimmie. From what I understand and saw, he kind of got spun, I guess, nose into the fence. But he was fast. I mean, he was really good. I felt like our car was definitely better than anybody's, what, lap 60 on, 40, somewhere around there. You know, on a long run.

And out of nowhere surprisingly, McMurray ran me down in that one long run, and I was like, whoa, where'd he come from? So I let him go. I knew we had another pit stop still yet to go, and I knew there was another opportunity for me to work on my car, get some fresh tires, and once we got tires, you know, it was only going to be probably 100 laps that we had to go the rest of the way. So I felt like we were better than much of the field.

But you know, Reutimann was fast, and he was good. And I'm not going to say why I beat him because then he'll fix it, but it has to do with behind the wheel.

He wasn't driving the place right, I'm sorry. If he fixes how to drive this place, he'd be right there with me. I got ooh because it was going to be some big deal in the media. Jesus.

Q: What was your thought about Keselowski's little pre-race declaration?


Q: Brad Keselowski.

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I don't know who you're talking about.

Q: Okay. He drives the No. 12 car.

KYLE BUSCH: I saw it. But I passed it.

Q: A lot of people will make a lot about your number of wins and so forth, but if you add up your wins as well as all your second places and the other opportunities where you think you should have won a race or felt you could have won a race, to be 25 and have that many opportunities to win as a race car driver, I mean, how is that? And at 25 can that get better than it is right now?

KYLE BUSCH: J.D. hopes so.

J.D. GIBBS: Yes.

KYLE BUSCH: I don't know. I mean, I'm very blessed from the guy above that gave me the talents that I have, obviously. That's really, really cool. And I do the best with what I've got every weekend. I try to go out there and give it my all. Guys will tell you, the guys that work on my team, the only reason they work on my team is because of the opportunity to work with me.

Dave, the only reason -- I don't have to speak for him. Do you want to speak for why you're in Cup?

DAVE ROGERS: Because Kyle Busch asked me to be in Cup. Kyle is a special driver and in my opinion the most talented driver on the circuit. I told him before the race, there's a lot of fans out there booing him and some wise guys saying some things that were somewhat unprofessional, but it's an absolute honor to work with Kyle Busch. I couldn't be happier to do so.

KYLE BUSCH: And I just feel like on down the road that hopefully it can get better. I don't see why it can't get better. Just keep trying to do what we do. Dave and I keep communicating, keep working hard. Same with Jason Ratcliff, same with Eric Phillips, just keep working on my stuff and every week trying to win.

Q: Can you describe that move you made on the restart after the fourth caution when you took Jimmie and Reutimann three wide? What was going through your -- it was just amazing. Can you just kind of describe what was going through your mind? What was your strategy?

KYLE BUSCH: I really didn't have one. I actually screwed up the restart pretty bad, and Jimmie got a really good jump on me. But fourth place didn't get a good restart, either. So there was a lane, an opportunity for me to jump up in line.

The outside is always the fast time on the restart, the fast line I should say. I got up on the high side and I planned on following him, but he slowed up so much I was like, okay, I'll just let it drift up and go around him, and I throttled up and got to his corner and knew we were either going to wreck or we were going to get off the corner because Jimmie is professional and he knows how to race.

You know, I got to his outside, we raced down the back, and it was a tight squeeze. We touched doors just a little bit, but we made it through there okay. Man, I just -- I was actually kind of surprised at what I did. I was like, man, that was cool.

So I tried to do it to Reutimann again, and it didn't work. I got too tight trying to get up onto the outside. When you get down into the corners and load up on the bump stops and stuff, you get a little tight, so you've kind of got to maneuver somewhat, but that restart was just -- it flowed through perfectly. I don't know -- I tried to do it again, so -- I don't know if I could do it again.

Continued in part 2

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Carl Edwards , Brad Keselowski , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing