Continued from part 1 Q: Joe, I asked Denny if he'd been close enough to Kyle, would he have moved him for the win. He said, For sure, Kyle wins too much. Denny talked so much before the season about how much he wants to win, stop being a ...
Continued from part 1
Q: Joe, I asked Denny if he'd been close enough to Kyle, would he have moved him for the win. He said, For sure, Kyle wins too much. Denny talked so much before the season about how much he wants to win, stop being a guy with potential. How close is he and what's that team missing from being the 18?
JOE GIBBS: I got to tell you this year I think Denny did really set his jaw. He's been on it. He's been after it hard. I think they are very good teammates, both Kyle and Denny. Joey, too. They've taken Joey under their wing and talked to him. I've seen them both over there trying to help him.
Everybody knows in this sport right now where this sport is, you're not going to win unless you got great teammates. They feed off each other. Obviously at racetracks, the information that comes back and forth to each other is extremely important. That's the other part of being a team sport.
I would say the difference right now, I think Denny I'll be real disappointed in myself if that 11 car doesn't step up and run great this year because I think they put a lot into it. So we're real early in the season, and I appreciate that. I know Kyle would be the same way. If Denny is there, there are no deals. You're going to try to whip each other if you can. I know Denny would give it anything he's got if he could have got close enough. I think it would have been fair, too, fair racing. Hopefully that's what we'll see. I tell you this, I get a little nervous when two of ours are up there.
Q: What has he personally done this year that you've noticed?
JOE GIBBS: I think as much as anything, it's your attitude. We sat down and talked. We talked quite a bit before the year. We met with Joey, and particularly Denny and Kyle. They're our leaders. We talked a lot about the coming year. I think he spent a lot of time with Mike. I think you can tell the way he reacts when something does happen to the race team. He's very strong about it. I think he's had a great relationship with Mike. I think they're after it. I think they're not going to leave anything unturned around our place to try and keep from getting everything we can for the 11 car.
Q: Joe, I'll ask you about Joey. His day ended early, but he's in the top 35. How important was it for him to do that?
JOE GIBBS: It's extremely important. I think it shows you, too, pro sports, how hard it is. A lot of things happened to us this year when we charted our course here. We got testing taken away from us. I think probably everybody would say it probably hurts the young guy a lot more than a vet, a guy that's been around. I think that was a tough deal for us. Really you pretty much have to show up at a racetrack. Many times Joey has been at someplace where he's never had a lap in a Cup car, the Car of Tomorrow. I think it's been a struggle for us. He's had two wrecks. Other people caused them. Then we blow a motor. It's been disheartening.
But I think we're locked in a battle. We're going to go for it hard. It's part of pro sport. It's a tough deal. We stepped out there for Home Depot and him. We're going to keep swinging. I know Zippy is really upset. I think it's gonna be it shows you how hard this sport is.
Q: Steve, the crew chief is always kind of the whipping boy when things don't go right. The 18 team had a few years where you were down from your championship level. How big an accomplishment and sense of pride do you feel to be part of having the 18 team back on top again after being there for so long through the good and bad?
STEVE ADDINGTON: I mean, take a lot of pride in it. I think we're doing the same things that we did for the first three years, when I first came over here. We worked hard. We take the information that is from the company. The 11 and the 20 car were running good. We just had two drivers before that it didn't fit. We couldn't find what they wanted from the organizational standpoint.
We worked our tails off to try to give it to 'em, and we weren't doing anything out of the ordinary on the 18 car, it just wasn't working. I tell you, to go through three years of that with a group of guys, and he's coming in to jump in your car, and he's at Hendricks, winning races at a great organization, and they're nervous about, What if our cars aren't good enough? I said, We'll go to work. It's been very fortunate that our cars were good enough when he first got in here last year to race and win races again.
Q: Are you amazed at how much smarter you've gotten since he got behind the wheel?
STEVE ADDINGTON: Yeah (laughter). I've been told that a lot, that I found the book that Ryan had when he had Mark Martin.
Q: Kyle, Denny said after the race that he thought the difference between winning and losing was your ability to get away after the restarts. He said that's an area that he needs to work on. What are you doing differently that he's not and are you willing to give him a few pointers about how to correct that?
KYLE BUSCH: To be honest with you, every driver's different. We always heard about Ron Hornaday, how good he was, he was the restart king. There were a few times in Nationwide competition when I ran in 2004, I'll take the credit, I waxed him at it. But there were sometimes when he got back at me.
Restarts are tough sometimes. It's hard to know. Second is probably the worst spot to be in on a restart. The leader can go when he wants to go within the restart point. You don't know if he's going to go at the beginning or the end of the restart point. You're the first guy to see the leader go.
If the third place guy sees him brake a little bit faster than you do, then the third place guy is all over the second place guy. It's always tough. The second place guy is always in the worst position.
It's just all about planning and kind of, I don't know, just being ready for it, trying to go as hard as you can.
Q: Kyle, yesterday Harvick said something about how he needs motivation. That's one of the reasons he started his own team. Do you feed off the boos, off the fans' response? Did you use that as fire in your belly?
KYLE BUSCH: Not really. I think it's cool it works that way, but I don't use it.
What I use is the car in front of me. If there's a car in front of me, I'm going to chase him. You know, I want to pass that guy. If I'm the leader, there's another car in front of me, he's going a lap down. The more guys you get a lap down, the more you don't have to deal with at the end of the day. There's always some motivation to go forward. There's always somebody ahead of you that you can pass that's going to mean something. Even if you are the leader.
The only time that that doesn't mean anything is when you come down to the last two races or even the last race of the year, if you're the championship contender, and you don't need to finish but 32nd, then don't worry about anything. But until you're in that position, then everybody's you're feeding off everybody in front of you.
Q: Kyle, I know you're a big fan of the history of the sport. Saturday Night Special with all the legends last night. Can you comment a little bit on you winning five for five now, winning a race every weekend.
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, it's pretty cool. I'm proud of that. Hopefully I can carry that into Martinsville. I suck there, so it's gonna be hard to do, but we'll see what we can figure out.
The best finish I think I've had there is a fourth in Cup and a third in Trucks or something like that, or a fourth in Trucks, too. I've got two chances next weekend. Hopefully we can get one of 'em. If not, then we just have to start another streak.
The legends race yesterday, I didn't watch it. I was too PO'd. I wish I would have been able to see those guys, see what it was like, watch Cale, Junior, Harry, all those guys, see what it was all about. Heard they had fun and they had a good time with it. That's always cool. Maybe they'll do it again, if not in the fall, maybe next year. One of these days maybe I'll be an old timer and be in that race trying to get back at some of the guys that I race with now.
Q: (No microphone.)
KYLE BUSCH: Good thing Samantha is not in here. Even though, the press conference is probably on the jumbotron.
You know what, I don't know. That's a tough question. Fortunately for me I'm young and I have a lot of time before I need to worry about that. Maybe someday I will get tired of racing in the Truck Series or I will get tired of racing in the Nationwide Series. Joe I'm sure would like me to slow down a little bit, run a few less races or whatever.
If I ever come up with my own team or something, I'll have to start that. I'll do what Harvick did, I'll run my own truck for a while and build it up until I know it's a good piece and it's something that can contend for races week in and week out, then I'll throw somebody else in it and they'll go race it.
When that day comes, I'm not sure. Even Nationwide or something like that we can look at. I'm not quite ready for that. We've got a lot of work ahead of us here. I don't need to be taking any effort away from what I got going on with JGR right now and concentrating on my own deal. Late models are enough. Thank all my late model guys. I don't need to worry about that stuff now anymore. Life is good.
JOE GIBBS: It's also expensive.
KYLE BUSCH: I can tell. Need money, more sponsors.
Q: Have you ever heard of Dizzy Dean?
KYLE BUSCH: No.
Q: Famous baseball player who said, It ain't bragging if you can back it up. Is that sort of your attitude?
KYLE BUSCH: That's pretty good. Yeah, I like that. Need to remember that. Dizzy Dean. If you're bragging, you got to be able to back it up. I don't recall bragging about anything. When you win races, I guess people want to say I mock the fans or whatever. That's just 'cause I'm excited. I gave them a bow. I gave them a great presentation today. I was proud of mine and my team's effort. Hopefully we can do it again, if not next weekend, then hopefully sooner or later.
KERRY THARP: Congratulations to the No. 18 team.