Continued from part 1 Q: Whoever was on the outside today on the restarts clearly had the advantage. You've been at enough tracks now, is there one clear lane at pretty much every track that's advantageous? How big a factor do you ...
Continued from part 1
Q: Whoever was on the outside today on the restarts clearly had the advantage. You've been at enough tracks now, is there one clear lane at pretty much every track that's advantageous? How big a factor do you think that's going to play down the stretch when people are going for a championship?
KYLE BUSCH: It's gonna play a lot. I tell you, there's going to be one place where everybody is going to choose the bottom, that's Martinsville. I guarantee you that. I think it's going to be the bottom there.
I could be wrong there. You know, the outside might be able to pinch the inside guy down enough where they can get a shot off of turn two. Seems everywhere has been the outside. Even Indy, Jimmie made it look simple on the outside there. Passed Mark on the last restart, went on to win the race. Michigan was last week. It seemed like every time I was down on the inside, three out of the five restarts, I'd get shuffled if I couldn't get to the top and get into the top lane and go on the outside. It seems like it's the outside. These cars, they're built on momentum now because they don't turn in the center. When you get down into the corner, you can't turn the thing, you go the to slow down, then you got to accelerate more. The outside, they're still going. They're keeping it going. They're keeping it wound up. They just get down the next straightaway faster.
You could see some differences in the Nationwide Series sometimes because of the different car. I tried both sides of the restart order at Watkins Glen. I tried the inside. Stewart out powered me on the outside. I tried the outside. Stewart out powered me on the inside. I didn't have the car I needed to have that day with what Stewart had. To me it seems, I don't know the ratio, it's about 95% of the time it's the outside.
Q: Are you miserable and angry a lot or is that not true? You guys know him the best. How do you see his personality?
KYLE BUSCH: Maybe till I land in Moorseville, then it's back to life as normal. The racetrack is the racetrack. It's a lot different here than what it is at home. I got a lot of friends and family that I work with, friends that I work with, a lot of family that I live with. They're all trying to cheer me up during the week. I'm like, You know, it is what it is. I wish it was different. I wish it was better. But unfortunately that's all we had this weekend. So back during the week, it's all fine.
JOE GIBBS: I would say that it's the spur of the moment. You know what I mean? I think Kyle is extremely competitive. You deal with athletes that some react different ways. I think for him, you know, it's that spur of the moment, just getting out of the car. We used to say in kicking field goals, we used to tell the field goal kicker in football, don't look over for the first 10 seconds if you miss it because everybody over there is calling you everything you can think of.
I think with Kyle, it's that first emotion, right when he gets out of the car. I think that's something that as he goes forward, maybe something he reacts differently to. I think right now, that's when I see it. Just like he said, an hour later, call him on the phone, whatever, seems to be totally relaxed. But I think it's that emotion and competitiveness that lots of times great athletes have.
STEVE ADDINGTON: I'm more aggravated when I get to the truck, he's gone, they come and ask me all the questions. What's wrong with him?
I know the next week when we talk it will be ask a few questions about the past weekend, then it's focused on the neck week. So it's the frustration in the heat of the battle right then. When you fought all day long, didn't get the result you wanted... He gets out of there and goes and chills out, gets on the plane, then he talks about it after we get back home. That's fine with me. He just leaves me here to answer all the questions when that happens.
KYLE BUSCH: He's a lot more experienced (laughter).
Q: Kyle, when you thanked the crew, sounded like a tired voice at the moment. Was that from the intensity of the last four laps or a relief to win?
KYLE BUSCH: It was both. It was the intensity of the last 50 laps really. I mean, I was driving that thing for everything it had. And then the relief of getting it over with. Then the unbelief of being able to do it.
You know, sometimes when you win races, it's like, yeah, we should have won. It's like, yeah, all right, we got it. You know, but this one was like, really? That's great. I can't believe it. It was pretty cool. Pretty phenomenal we beat the 5. The 5 was very, very strong today. Mark was a very good racecar. Those guys really did their homework and came out with the best possible thing they could have. Man, they're going to be strong here again next year. We're going to have to fight those guys.
The raw emotion of winning here. Those guys are what worked tonight for us. We had a couple bad stops, but we were making changes, we were making adjustments, we were pulling spring rubbers, doing rounds in the back window. Then on that last stop, they threw it all together in one stop and, man, we clicked it off. We almost beat the 5 off pit road, but didn't. Real proud of everybody there. Wanted to give them the opportunity to recognize them and what they did there on the backstretch, pit road.
Q: Basically what is the game plan for the next couple of weeks?
KYLE BUSCH: Win (laughter). You know, Atlanta, we have a little bit of work to do. We weren't as good as we needed to be there this spring. We'll just try to be better. We'll try to work as hard as we can to make the car what it needs to do. You know, there's not going to be any time for me to sit with Steve at all next week, or two weeks in Atlanta. It's all a one day show for Nationwide. I'm going to be running back and forth all over the place. That's not going to be much fun for Steve and I trying to communicate. We'll just have to get together Saturday night after Nationwide or Sunday morning. Talk about what we got, see what we can do to make it better.
Richmond, we feel like we can go there and run strong. That's a place where I don't qualify well, sort of like here, but when the race turns around, we seem to run well. We can work our way steadily up towards the front. We'll do what we need to do. Hopefully at the end of the race, if we have a shot to go after it, we'll go after it.
I think my biggest concern is going to be Atlanta, just trying to get through Atlanta with a solid top 10 finish. If we can do that, I think we'll be okay.
STEVE ADDINGTON: I mean, I struggle with trying to figure out a game plan. You go to the racetrack every week prepared the best you can. We'll try to do that the next two weeks to get into the Chase. Be prepared, try to give him a racecar he can run up front with and get a solid finish from both racetracks. We feel like if we get a solid finish at Atlanta, we can go to Richmond and win the race.
Q: Kyle, has it been kind of a struggle this season adapting to when you're better than the car? Seems like the car hasn't been up to snuff as much. Is that kind of a first for you, where it's really not up to your standards and you have to adapt and take what it gives you?
KYLE BUSCH: No. I was with the 5 team where we didn't have the best cars some days and I wasn't the best driver some days. Like last year, the car met me. We worked together and we won races. We were fast and competitive at a lot of different racetracks. This year, like I said, the competition is better. I think our cars are driving the same or maybe even driving better. We don't quite have the speed that it needs. Sometimes when I'm trying to make up for it, I get myself into precarious situations. That's what happened at Sonoma. I was running seventh or whatever. I should have been biding my time, waiting for the next round of stops. I was trying to get back up towards the front. I got into a corner too hard and ran over Sam Hornish. That was me trying to make up for what the car didn't have right there.
I can be the problem sometimes. Sometimes the car can really be a fit for me. Steve and I are trying to work at that to try to make it the best week in and week out that we can.
Last year, like I said, just seemed easy, seemed to come together easier. This year we're working for it. We're trying to work as hard as we can.
Q: Joe, as a football coach and a team owner, would you rather have a young Kyle Busch or young Tony Stewart?
JOE GIBBS: You're not going to lure me into that (laughter).
I think as a coach, I've always wanted to be the guy that was the good athlete. I wasn't, so I wound up being a coach. But I think you work with all different kinds of athletes. We talked about football. The thing that in the end that you really want from your players or drivers or crew members or crew chiefs is a real passion for what they do. I think that if you got that in your players and you obviously can deal with the different personalities, and everybody is a little different, you know. You go back to Tony when he was first here, he wore everything on his sleeve. If you remember, some of the same statements we made about Kyle we were making about Tony. It was that first 10 minutes when he got out of the car when we had a few problems, and then the next day he was great.
I do wish this. I've said to people, I wish they could see Kyle the way we see him, away from the racetrack, just sitting around talking, having fun, or maybe over at NASCAR theme park where he's bought the night out for some kids.
KYLE BUSCH: Or maybe in New York the night before the M&M announcement.
JOE GIBBS: Something like that (laughter).
One thing I was going to mention, we were thinking about our year, that Daytona race. We were 400 yards. That series of circumstances, the point I'm trying to make here is this. We wound up within 400 yards. We could see the flag. We wind up in a huge wreck and lose a lot of points. That's how tough this sport is. It's the best people in the world doing this. That's how when it's that close, it can come down to this, where you are. One thing happens to you, you wind up losing a lot of points. I think everybody would probably be saying, Hey, you got five wins, that was great if that hadn't happened. But it did happen.
This is very close, very competitive sport. I think that's the reason why we all like it. I think that's why the fans like it. I think it's the thrill of it.
Q: Kyle, who did you give the flag to? Last night you were pretty gracious towards Chase Austin who made a pretty bad mistake on the track. Why did you cut him so much slack when you don't like to cut others that much slack?
KYLE BUSCH: I tried giving it to a young Kyle Busch fan who was in tears. I don't know if it was of me winning or what. But a young lady in the stands had a Kyle Busch shirt on, she was tearing. There was another guy behind her with an M&M jacket on, too. I don't know if it was husband and wife or father and daughter or what, but I tried giving it to her. Some Tony Stewart fan came in and tried to wrangle it away. Hopefully she got it. That was pretty cool. I saw a couple others along the fence line, but she was the one in tears. That was neat to give to her.
Then last night, Chase, he's young, trying to learn. Inexperienced. This was one of his first races in the Nationwide Series. It's not worth it to blast a young guy coming in trying to learn. I've been that guy making mistakes coming in, been battling for race wins and wrecking or trying to come back through the field after missing a lug on a pit stop or something or speeding on pit road and have wrecked. So I've made my share of mistakes.
I don't tend to cut the experienced guys much slack, you know, because we all should know better essentially. But Chase, he thought he was doing the right thing. He's coming from late models, which is what you do at late model races. If you have a problem, you get down out of the way, put your hand out the window, everybody knows that. Here, when you're going so fast, 3400 pound stock cars, wherever you are, you just got to stay up against the wall. Hopefully he's learned that. Next time we won't have that scenario.
Q: What is it like racing as the villain, especially at a place where it seems everyone wanted Mark to win this race?
KYLE BUSCH: Really it's no different if I was the hero or the villain. I just love to race. That's solely what I'm built to do, be a racecar driver (end of audio).