Darlington: Winning team press conference, part 1

Dodge Challenger 500 Post-Race Transcript An interview with: KYLE BUSCH J.D. GIBBS STEVE ADDINGTON THE MODERATOR: We're going to roll into our post race winning press conference. We have our race winner, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 ...

Dodge Challenger 500 Post-Race Transcript

An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: We're going to roll into our post race winning press conference. We have our race winner, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M Indiana Jones Toyota here at Darlington Raceway. This is his third victory in 2008. He continues to be our points leader. This is his ninth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.

With him he's got his crew chief, Steve Addington. He's got J.D. Gibbs from Joe Gibbs Racing. Congratulations to this team. Terrific effort out there tonight.

Kyle, talk about your win here at Darlington. Has to be special.

KYLE BUSCH: It definitely is. You know, to win here at a place that's so hard, whether it's old asphalt, the new asphalt, the regular car, the new car, it's just unbelievable the way this race goes about, the way things happened tonight.

Fortunately for me I've got a great race team with Joe Gibbs Racing and of course Toyota Motors, all these guys, Steve Addington, Chris, Geoff Price, everybody else, Wesley, all the guys on the team that do such a great job in putting these things together every week. They build them as strong as they can for me because I like to knock the walls down with 'em. Fortunately for me I had one of those good pieces tonight. We were able to come through for a win.

But definitely an up and down sort of race. In the beginning there we were battling with Biffle and got stuck behind lap traffic, got passed. Then we come in, tried making adjustments all night. Steve was making good calls on adjustments, trying to make the thing better. We dropped a lug nut there one time, fell back a little bit. We rebounded again nicely with good pit stops on pit road, just driving up through the field there. Fortunately at the end we got the right strategy that got us out front and clean air.

THE MODERATOR: Steve, congratulations. Called a great race up there. It's got to be special winning a race in a state you spend a lot of time in.

STEVE ADDINGTON: Oh, it's awesome to win in your home state. That was pretty big. I ran here, you know, in the Busch Series with Jason Keller, ran second to Jeff Burton I don't know how many times. Come in here, to win a Cup race here, it's really big. It makes me feel good about it.

THE MODERATOR: J.D., this race team has really established itself here this season. Your thoughts about what that 18 team is doing right now.

J.D. GIBBS: Yeah, I think first, just a huge encouragement when you kind of look back. Again, we talked about it a couple weeks ago. We had a long dry spell there with the 18. That's kind of our baby we had 17 years ago. So for us it means a lot. It's a lot of fun to do it with M&M's and still have Interstate Batteries on board, all those guys. Really having Kyle and the way he works together with those crew guys, which a lot of people don't see off the track, how close those guys are growing. That's kind of a special deal.

THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions now for either Kyle, Steve or J.D.

Q: How many times did you hit the wall? Did you have a tear in your eye preintroductions? Somebody said when introducing your mother, had you a tear in your eye. Thirdly, what's with this bow?

KYLE BUSCH: Well, how many times did I hit the wall? I don't know. One, two, three, four, probably five or six I hit the fence.

Next question was?

Q: Tear in the eye.

KYLE BUSCH: Tear in the eye. Sure (smiling). It was for my mom. It's Mother's Day. What a great day. Can't wait for tomorrow.

And then third question was?

Q: Bow.

KYLE BUSCH: About the bow. Uhm, I don't know. It's, Thank you very much.

Q: Jeff said it was like David Copperfield.

KYLE BUSCH: I mean, the good burnout, then I can't get out of the car fast enough, man. I need to work on that. But if it was on fire, I tell you what, I'd get out there of there. I'd get out of there, then I'm up on top, I appear, yeah, then I do a bow, thank you very much, then I go on and have a nice day. I'm trying to get more smoke built up before I get out. I'm working on it. It's good. It's okay, J.D. says.

J.D. GIBBS: We're going to bill you for that.

KYLE BUSCH: Whatever. No, he's not.

Q: Kyle, being truthful now, when they boo the hell out of you, does it bother you one bit?

KYLE BUSCH: Not really. I don't care. I'm here to race. I'm here to win. If I win, just makes 'em more upset and crying on their way home.

By the way, somebody threw a beer can at me. Next time just make sure it's full so I can enjoy it out there, all right?

Q: What was the deal with the lug nuts and the glue? What was the issue and how did you get it resolved or did you get it resolved? Do you not know what was happening there?

STEVE ADDINGTON: We're looking to see if there's something bad on the tube of glue or whatever. It's the first time it's happened all year. The first stop, the first couple of stops, I didn't even know it was happening. They never said anything and they didn't miss a beat. Then it started falling off and they just left it 'cause they thought they could get away with it. That's when it was brought to my attention. I was pretty upset about it, thinking he's probably thinking we have lost this whole deal, our pit crew's falling apart, all that stuff.

But, no, there was an issue there. They're looking into it. We'll get it resolved.

Q: Steve and J.D., Kyle is thriving in this being the villain and booing. Would you like to see him find a balance in accepting that and still continuing this streak?

STEVE ADDINGTON: I like the balance that he has. I mean, I don't have any problem with it. Everybody's got their opinion. I mean, he comes in there and he fits in with our race team and his personality fits with this race team. That's all that I'm worried about. We go out and we get paid to do this. This is what we love to do and we're very passionate about it.

I think that he fits in with the group of guys that's on this 18 car, that they are very passionate about what they do. He's the same way about his driving and wanting to win trophies.

J.D. GIBBS: And I'll just say for us, really, when you watch Kyle, I think you kind of look at the history. We've been doing it for 18 years. You always kind of have a guy that comes along, when he starts to do well, there's an issue there. Over time, generally what you watch as the guys get older, people kind of appreciate what they're doing on the track. And Kyle is learning, too. He's been a great driver for years. This is a lot of attention he hasn't had in years past. As he kind of learns and grows with that, I think we'll be in good shape. That's just a matter of time, taking care of itself. He knows we're behind him no matter what we have, we're going to support him. That goes both ways, too. So that's the encouraging thing.

THE MODERATOR: Kyle becomes the youngest winner in the history of this racetrack. Congratulations on that accomplishment. More questions.

Q: How does it feel to have that kind of accomplishment because usually people come in here and win this thing, they're the veterans, here you are doing it at 23?

KYLE BUSCH: I mean, it means a lot. This racetrack, don't get me wrong, I don't know all the history and heritage of it, but I know there's a lot to it. I know watching Carl Edwards' piece with Pearson, having the fun day he had, then watching some of the highlights of the races here, I mean, you've got Jeff's million, Elliot's million, then you've got races from beyond that time when they were still running around here with guardrail walls. It's kind of fun to watch those and see what the track was like back in the heyday.

But we're running around here so fast now it's confusing. To me it's just neat to be able to go around this place and remember all that and yet still be able to become the winner tonight.

It means a lot, especially because it's Mother's Day weekend now, and of course my mom was here to be able to help celebrate with us. Happy Mother's Day to her. And having Indiana Jones and M&M's on board this weekend with us, that was pretty cool, too. Glad we could get them a win for the special promotion they had going.

Continued in part 2

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jason Keller , Carl Edwards , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing