Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway. He discussed how the Impala SS has performed so far today on the Dover track, what he learned at the test at Virginia International ...
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway. He discussed how the Impala SS has performed so far today on the Dover track, what he learned at the test at Virginia International Raceway, participating in the Prelude to the Dream event and other topics.
DID THAT PRACTICE SESSION KIND OF SERVE AS THE TEST THAT YOU GUYS NEVER HAD BECAUSE OF THE DARLINGTON RAIN OUT? "Not really. I wish we were able to come here and test because it is so much different than what we had before. We are lifting five, eight car lengths sooner than we used to and it is really, really loose for me getting into the corner, trying to get up over the hill. I wish we had time to work on that to try to fix that. Right now it feels as if we are just backing into the corner, like a dirt car and then it is tight through the corner, you know, and you have got to balance those two out, which is the most difficult thing in racing to try to do."
BECAUSE OF THAT IS IT PRETTY WIDE OPEN THIS WEEK? "I am not sure about that. I don't think that there is enough to tell here today. You know, there are guys here today that are going to get better tomorrow, of course. We went from being so terrible, once we unloaded, to now we are pretty decent in race trim. We still have a little bit of an issue with that entry but I think that having more time tomorrow we should be able to close in on it a little bit better."
HOW IS THE CAR OF TOMORROW FEELING ON THIS TRACK? HAVE ANY DRIVERS SAID THAT THIS WILL BE THE TRUE TEST? "Yeah, to me it is nothing that we are accustomed to. If you are loose, you can't be too loose because there is not enough side force in these things to catch you. When we go through the corner in the old car you can be a little bit loose and still have car hold you straight or try to hold you straight. With this car, anytime you get the least little bit sideways you are almost spinning out."
ARE YOU IN FAVOR OF GOING ALL COT NEXT YEAR? "I am not in favor of the car, but you know, we have got to work on it and make ours better. If we are the best of all the rest, we will be just fine."
WHAT DID YOU GET OUT OF THE TEST AT VIR ON THE ROAD COURSE EARLIER THIS WEEK AND SPECIFICALLY I AM WONDERING IF YOU GOT ANY TIPS FROM MAX PAPIS THAT WERE HELPFUL? "Well, going out there cold turkey with the car never being on a road course with it, his experience that he had in testing for us before hand really, really helped me out. Everything that he told me was exactly true, so it was perfect to be able to have that before I got out there. We learned a bunch. It is going to be hard on brakes. We don't know if the brakes are going to make it all the way, they were extremely hot both front and rear. Normally when you have hot fronts you won't be using enough rear, but we are using enough rear that we are getting the rears too hot and we are getting wheel hop as well entering the corners so it is another issue with the COT that we got to work on."
HOW IMPORTANT IS QUALIFYING HERE? IS IT MORE SO IMPORTANT DUE TO THE FACT THAT THERE ARE ONLY 42 PIT STALLS? "Yeah, that is definitely a good topic to bring up. The pit road is very, very tight. The stalls are very tight and very narrow, sort of like Bristol and Martinsville, and the other factor of not qualifying well is that if you get back in traffic at the start of the race and there are some wrecks in front of you, it is a self grading race track, stuff is going all over the place so it is hard to make your way and pick your way through all the mishap and that could be devastating as well."
ON THE GARAGE BEING VERY NARROW AND HAVING HARDLY ANY ROOM FOR THE HAULERS AND THE CARS: "I have heard rumors for the past five years coming here that they were going to redo the garage area, but they haven't done it yet."
WOULD YOU WANT TO DO PRELUDE TO THE DREAM? "Yeah, we are going to that. I am looking forward to that. To run dirt again, I haven't been on dirt in a while. I am excited about that, looking forward to that. The overall experience, I am looking forward to it and getting to Eldora and running around with the rest of these guys and seeing what I am worth on dirt."
WOULD YOU BE IN FAVOR OF GOODYEAR, AFTER SOME TESTING, GIVING YOU MORE TIRES NEXT YEAR? "I think that it is going to be a good thing, any time you able to go the race track and get track time of course it is better. I feel like that will just give a chance for our competition to just catch up a little bit. That will be the downside to it, but for us we should be able to learn some more and stay ahead."
WHEN YOU GUYS ARE TESING ALL OF THE TIME DURING THE WEEK, DOES THAT WEAR YOU DOWN AFTER A WHILE? "It wears on everybody pretty hard because you don't have a specific test team versus your race team. They are both the same. The crew chief and the driver take a toll, but the guys in the shop really take a toll because they are back working every day of the week. Even though you might have a nine to five at the race track, that is a little different than a nine to five at the shop in air conditioning."
ON DRIVERS COMING UP THROUGH THE RANKS: "Well there's a bunch of different things that happen for a race car driver who is coming up through the ranks. We all have different backgrounds. For mine, it was local short track racing every Friday and Saturday night, and you know it was fun. I enjoyed it. I love it. I am still a part of it a little bit. I have my own late model car that I am building right now and I am getting ready to go run here in the mid summer and in the late summer. The cars themselves really haven't changed, as far as the chassis, but the bodies just keep evolving because of what NASCAR keeps doing. The bodies on the short track follow what these cars here are, but I don't see them following them with the COT here with the splitter and stuff like that. I think that the cars like what we have got now are perfect on short tracks."
WHAT IS SO APPEALING ABOUT THE FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT RACING? "For me, it is fun to go back there and do that kind of stuff because you don't have anything on the line. You are not racing for a point series or anything. It is cool to hang out with your buddies, they come over and help you with the car and then you go to the race track and you race it and you have got a bunch of friends that are all around town. You try to beat them on every Saturday night but during the week you could actually work with them or you guys are partners in business somehow, you know, so there is always a community somehow."
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK THAT IT IS FOR NASCAR TO SUPPORT AND TEAM UP WITH THE LOCAL SHORT TRACKS? "I think short track racing obviously needs to stay alive because that is where our future stars are coming from. NASCAR has made a few changes over the past few years on what they have been doing with their short track programs like they have instituted an 18 and over rule for everybody over the local track for late model, your premier division. This year they have changed that back to 16 but 18 for the Truck, Cup, and Busch. The Southwest Tour and the Northwest Tour and all those series, those were great series for people to learn in, you know, it was a regional division, you traveled around to different tracks but you were only traveling around to about 8 or 10 different tracks which was perfect, just a little touring series. You know, money gets tough and they didn't have a big payout for guys so guys weren't making any money and it kind of fell through the hoops."
ON DEBRIS CAUTIONS: "In the past, like last year and the beginning of this year, but I think that since Tony's comments they have really started to take that into consideration. T.V. has too, T.V. has helped out with showing the debris that is on the race track if there is a caution thrown."
ARE THERE TIMES YOU JUST DON'T SEE IT AT ALL? "Well sometimes they will call a debris caution and there is just nothing out there. They want to close the field back up and get everybody back to racing if the race is getting too boring or something like that. They want to keep excitement in it, but you know, that was the past. I have not seen that here for a while. I think T.V. didn't help that situation earlier when they wouldn't show the debris on the race track, they would just cut away to pit stops or something instead of watching the clean up truck finding it."
SO THERE ARE TIMES THAT YOU DON'T SEE IT AT ALL? "There are times. There were times. It was frustrating because it would either help you or hurt you. Sometimes when you do see debris and you call it in and they don't call a caution for 10 laps and then you either get too far behind and you are not the lucky dog or you go a lap down and you are the lucky dog instead of giving it to somebody else. It is frustrating."
-credit: gm racing