KYLE BUSCH , NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 2nd: ON HIS VIEWPOINT OF THE FINAL FEW LAPS: "It was a great battle there with Jamie and I guess the other Hendrick cars and the other Roush cars and Kurt Busch was in there too....
KYLE BUSCH , NO. 5 KELLOGG'S/CARQUEST MONTE CARLO SS - Finished 2nd:
ON HIS VIEWPOINT OF THE FINAL FEW LAPS:
"It was a great battle there with Jamie and I guess the other Hendrick cars and the other Roush cars and Kurt Busch was in there too. We just didn't quite have the teammate situation all worked out today but all in all it was a great effort by my team and my guys on the CARQUEST Kellogg's Chevrolet being able to bring it home in second. We wish we could have won the final restrictor plate with the regular car but we were just trying to battle there to the finish line and I think I got a little bit too anxious on my side draft there off of turn four and just didn't quite have enough momentum in order to carry me to the finish line. All in all we just have to take it and go on with a good points day and head into Chicago next week."
ARE YOU SAYING YOUR TEAMMATES COULDN'T HELP YOU OR WOULDN'T HELP YOU IN THE END?
"There was a few opportunities to get behind me and help me, the 24 especially. We were running there behind him and then he got passed by the 26. We got by the 24 there and I ducked all the way down to the inside and was on the inside lane and Jeff I think was clear or was clear the lap later and could have came down and helped us and got three Hendrick cars in a row - me, him and the 48 - but chose not to do so and chose to stay up high and help another Roush car. It was just frustrating with that and then Jimmie got booted out of there I guess and Kurt got up there. Then Kurt and I got together and that was probably the best tandem that we had all day long and the best situation we were in. We just didn't have quite enough in order to keep it in front of that 26. He was pretty strong."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE A GUY WITHOUT A TEAM RIGHT NOW WITH HOW THE HENDRICK CARS AVOIDED YOU THE LAST COUPLE LAPS?
"Sort of, I guess. That's what I'm alluding to basically but walking down pit road saying congratulations to Jeff Gordon I got blown off so I guess I'm the outsider looking in now and I'm probably not going to be invited into the team meetings next week so I think bliss is over at Hendrick Motorsports for Kyle Busch. We'll get ready for 2008."
ON DEFINING WHAT HE MEANT ABOUT BEING A LITTLE ANXIOUS WITH THE SIDE DRAFT OFF OF TURN FOUR AND IF HE CAN FATHOM A 166-RACE WINLESS STREAK:
"Going off into turn three I got a little bit ahead of Jamie there and I knew that all I had to do is just kind of roll out of it a little bit, tap the brakes some and let him get his momentum built back up on the outside and get back in front of me a little bit. He did so and he got almost a car length ahead of me coming to the exit of turn four and that's where I went right up to him and got to the side draft and was side drafting off of him and then got in front of him by about a foot. I think I started all of that too soon. I started going up to him too soon and getting the side draft off of him. I should have let us get a little bit further down the front straightaway first, let Kurt catch up a little bit more, then start side drafting him about middle of the first straightaway here then coming to this checkered. So I messed up that a little bit but experience will pay off in that in the end.
"Congratulations to those guys. He (Jamie) deserved it. He definitely drove a great race and like Kurt said, he showed a lot of patience tonight and he was able to come out in the end on top of us so he beat us fair and square. I'm not crying but I just wish we would have been able to pull off the double today but for me it's only been 12, 13, however many races but you want to win every week so sometimes you can't do that and this week we came close."
HOW DO YOU PROCESS ALL THE CHANGES ON THE TRACK? DOES YOUR SPOTTER HANDLE THAT FOR YOU OR ARE YOU CONSTANTLY LOOKING, PLOTTING AND THINKING ABOUT THOSE THINGS?
"The biggest thing is like Kurt said is you just try to find who has the momentum and what lane's going, who's side drafting who and who's in front of the other guy. You always kind of look and see where the good cars are. You know who the good cars are and some of the good drivers are and stuff like that who know how to restrictor plate race and make good moves so you just kind of have to bide your time and pick the right moves. It's hard to do a lot of times and a lot of times you get stuck and get where you're falling back. With Casey I was behind him there and I was trying to get out from behind because he was so loose and slowing us all down through the corners but I just had to hang in there and wait for the outside lane to open up because I was boxed in sort of. So you just have to be patient sometimes."
WHEN YOU DIDN'T GET HELP FROM YOUR TEAMMATES, DID THAT SURPISE YOU OR DID THAT CONFIRM YOUR SUSPICION?
"No, I hadn't been getting much help from them all day. We worked together, we got in a line, we ran around the race track and then things started getting crazy and they went their way and I went my way. They got together there for a while. Really I didn't see a whole lot of the Hendrick cars.Jeff and Jimmie got together there on the outside. I was going to go when they pushed the 07 up to the lead. I think it was with 12 or 10 to go, I was just like you know what I'm not going to be that good on the outside. I'm just going to stick it down on the bottom and see what happens. That was about the only time really I saw Hendrick cars working together anyway all day so more times than not Jeff's had the philosophy that if I can help you and I can help the both of us progress I'll do but otherwise you're on your own. So I just was on my own all day."
ARE YOU FEELING WHAT BRIAN VICKERS WAS TALKING ABOUT ON GETTING HUNG OUT?
"It don't matter. I'm a race car driver. I'll race just as hard with anybody else as I do with anybody so whether it's a Gibbs car, a Penske car, a Hendrick car. If I have to race my teammates now differently than what I used to then I'll do it."
YOU SAID THE KEY AT THE END WAS JAMIE MCMURRAY'S PATIENCE. WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED AT THE START OF THE RACE? IT SEEMED LIKE THERE WAS SO MUCH IMPATIENCE THEN. HOW DID YOU KEEP IT TOGETHER?
"Well, it sort of looked like an ARCA race in the beginning there for a while. And then we brought everybody together and put our heads on straight and we were able to make some laps there and get some green flag pit stops down. McMurray, he got black-flagged there earlier in the race for being a little bit too impatient and trying to make a pass below the yellow line and just putting himself in a bad spot and not being able to get the pass made without getting in trouble for it. I've been in that situation before too. He rebounded nicely from it, though. He had to come down pit road under green and I don't think he went a lap down. I don't think he got a lucky dog. I just think he got back after a yellow flag, got back in traffic, and got some tires and drove back up through there and didn't pick any fights with anybody and didn't turn anybody and made it to the finish line first. So, that's good for him."
YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU'RE NOT FEELING IT WITH THE TEAM TONIGHT. HOW ABOUT WHEN YOU'RE AT THE SHOP? IS THERE A DIFFERENT VIBE THERE?
"No, not really. All the guys are still sticking together and everybody in that respect, you know, the guys who build the cars and work on the cars and the fab shop, the body shop and everybody. They all like me. We all get along great and it's a lot of fun with those guys. I really enjoy working with them. And so, you know, it's fun for me. It's just a situation you really don't want to have to go through, but you do. We'll get through it. I'll be fine. And we'll make the most of this season and hopefully make it in the Chase and hopefully be able to challenge for the championship and beat them all out and say I told you so."
AT THE FINISH, DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE SECOND OR DID YOU THINK YOU HAD WON?
"I was still on the back straightaway wondering if I won. I didn't know. I figured since they (the crew) weren't coming over yelling and screaming, either they weren't sure, or we didn't win. I saw the TV cameras when I was rolling down the back straightaway and the cameras zoomed in on the No. 26 car, so I figured he had won. It was just so close I couldn't really tell. I thought I had enough momentum to the finish line. But like I said, I talked about it earlier, just getting a little too anxious there off of Turn 4 and on my side drafting and not being able to carry it far enough and late enough in order to win. But it was a good finish for us. We finished second here last year and we finished third at Chicago. So if we can get our summer stretch rolling here pretty well, we'll make it to Richmond and be in the top 12."
DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED WITH TONY STEWART AND DENNY HAMLIN AT THE START OF THE RACE?
"It looked to me like they crashed (laughs). I guess Stewart got in the back of Hamlin off of Turn 4 and got him loose and Hamlin couldn't quite keep up with it. It's hard to keep up with it with no downforce and slick tires and a hot race track and stuff. And so, nobody would have been able to keep up with it out here. I'd guarantee that for all 42 other drivers. For that situation to happen that early in the race, yeah, it was too early. For them to be bump drafting through the corners. You can't do it here. At Talladega you can do it; you can get away with it. But here, it's definitely not very smart."
STEWART BLAMED HAMLIN AND SAID THAT HAMLIN CHECKED UP. DO YOU BUY THAT?
"Normally the leader is wide-open. I was wide-open when Stewart ran over me in the Bud Shootout earlier this year too (laughter)."
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING ABOUT DOING AND TRYING YOUR BEST, BUT THERE ARE 18 RACES LEFT TO DO. HOW CAN YOU GO AGAINST THE ENTIRE HMS TEAM AND BE SUCCESSFUL?
"All I need are my team guys to stick behind me. My crew chief and the team and the guys in the chassis shop and the body shop and everybody to give me the same equipment they've given me the whole time. And if that keeps coming my way, then I'll be just fine and this team will be just fine. As soon as something changes and somebody gets an order to make the thing blow up on lap 50, then we're going down hill. Hopefully that won't happen and Kellogg's and CARQUEST I'm sure, won't want to see that. I'm just looking forward to running the best we can week in and week out with the same equipment I've had the whole time I've been here at Hendrick Motorsports, which is good stuff."
IS TONY STEWART EVER AT FAULT FOR ANYTHING?
"Like I said last week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Tony Stewart is Tony Stewart. He's a great race car driver and he can drive the wheels off of anything. And when he says something, we're just going to believe it."
ON POSSIBLY JOINING PENSKE RACING WITH HIS BROTHER KURT?
"If Roger Penske wants to sit down and have a conversation, we'll do it. That's what I've said from the beginning is that I'll talk to anyone who wants to talk. So, we'll do it."
-credit: gm racing