Fontana II: Kyle Busch - GM Top-10 interview



ON MINDSET OF TEAM AS CHASE GETS CLOSER AND ATTENTION TO OTHER TEAMS IN CONTENTION: "We are paying attention to our program. On doing what we need to be doing. Making sure we don't have things like lug nuts coming off or tires rolling across pit road. Just making sure we are keeping things under control that are in our control. That is what our main focus for this weekend."

ON PAYING ATTENTION TO OTHER CARS IN THE CHASE DURING A RACE: "The only car we really have to pay attention to is the No. 9 car (Kasey Kahne) and what he is doing. He is the only guy out there right now that is looking for his way in. But the other guys in eighth, ninth and 10th, you pay attention to but if you just do what you can do on the race track and make results happen for ourselves and things will be ok."

ON PINPOINTING ONE EVENT THAT MADE YOUR SEASON: "Not yet, it is going to be tough. The quickest thing that comes to mind was that we had a good race car at Lowe's Motor Speedway and got knocked out of contention there and what kind of points that we lost. Of course, the 25 points that we lost there as well. That is probably one of the events that we can look at to try something different and try to change up."

ON CALIFORNIA BEING AS IMPORTANT AS RICHMOND: "For us the big thing right now is about positioning ourselves in the Chase. I think we have a legitimate shot at being in it right now. It is all about trying to get up to that third spot. We can't catch the leaders, but if we can get up to there and have good results to get to third, we will only be 10 points behind the two leaders coming into Loudon. Then we will have a better shot at winning the championship. It doesn't really matter how you do, what you do throughout the final 10, but you never know how much those five points could be worth coming down to the end of the year."

ON RICHMOND: "Richmond has been good to me, I am not sure totally what the deal is. I have run really well there for some reason. We just to just keep that trend going. We had two fourth place finishes there last year, we had a fifth place there this spring. If we can get another fifth place finish or better, that will be great. That will just add to our success we have had there and of course our chance for making it."

ON KASEY KAHNE WINNING FOUR RACES THIS YEAR AND NOT BEING IN THE CHASE: "It is tough to know what changes you would make, you have a guy who can win four races during a year at the mile and a halves - the Lowe's, the Texas, the Atlanta- where ever he has won. They are all relatively the same. He tends to struggle at some other places. So maybe that is something they need to work on trying to make themselves better at the places where they have struggled. At lot of it was bad luck, so he needs to keep some luck on his side. He is one of the most talented drivers out here today. He definitely has got the resources and the support behind him. For him being on the outside looking in, I can imagine it is a tough situation."

ON QUALIFYING AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY. "It doesn't matter where you qualify here. A year ago the spring race, we qualified on the pole and finished 25th and then last year, we qualified 25th and finished first and this spring we qualified seventh and finished 10th. We will just have to see how it goes for us, it isn't really a place where qualifying much matters, it is just a place that being so wide and the asphalt has aged you are able to search around for a place to run."

ON BEING BOOED? "I like noise. Noise is good. Good or bad. As long as they are making noise. That was the famous words of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and I am going to abide by those."

ON CONFIDENCE COMING TO CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY AS DEFENDING RACE WINNER: "I feel good about it. I think we have a good shot to run well, I am not sure about our shot to win. It is like any week, you never know who is going to be good until after the first round of practice or so. I feel like this is a place we run well. I like coming to the two-mile race tracks. We run well at Michigan and we run well here. I think it would be a good weekend for us."

ON CHANGING MENTALITY WITH CHASE LOOMING IN FRONT OF HIM: "I think the way it is now, being this late in the season, if you have a shot to win, yes great, go for it. But I can't put myself in a particular spot that will put you in a position to do something negative toward your entire effort. The biggest thing for us is to make to with what we have got we just have to finish. If we have a top-five car, then finish fifth with it. We don't need to push the issue. Fifth is just fine relative to how the other guys in the Chase are doing."

COMFORT LEVEL OF HAVING JIMMIE (JOHNSON) AND JEFF (GORDON) TO LEAN ON FOR CHASE: "We all have our team meetings, so the biggest thing is we just go out there and do what we need to do to make each other better and each team stronger. For us to work with each other, that is what we need to keep doing. We just need to keep making sure that everybody at Hendrick Motorsports runs well. The other biggest thing is that with all three of us in the Chase, that means we have to battle one another for the championship, so that will be the tough spot. It doesn't matter to Rick (Hendrick) who wins the championship, just so he is at the head table in New York. Two years ago when my brother won the championship, Jeff and Jimmie were battling for second and third and they weren't giving each other much room. I look forward to that, I think it will be cool. Hopefully you will see three teammates battling for not only a win at a race, but for a championship."

ON WHAT HE WOULD HAVE DONE IF HE HAD GOTTEN TO MATT KENNSETH LAST WEEK IN BRISTOL: "I wouldn't have spun him out. He has never done anything dirty to me. We have always raced each other really really clean. I have a lot of respect for Matt. He has always been very cool to me and helped me out and things like that. I would have tried something out of the ordinary to get by him, but with all the lapped cars around the way they were, that would have made it exciting."

ON COMPARISON TO CUTLER (Jay, Denver Bronco quarterback): "Oh yeah, definitely. He came in there and played well. He was playing very maturely and doing a bunch of things right, not making any mistakes. I think he only made one mistake last night. He threw an interception, but you're going to have that every now and then, especially being as young as he is. He's not even into his first yet; he's still in the pre-season. So I think that there are a lot of traits there with me."

ON SUCCESS AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY: "It is a cool play for me, I like coming here. I first came here 2001 with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and was very fast but wasn't able to race. I was successful then and have been pretty successful here the last couple of years in Cup. In Busch, I haven't done that great in that. I am not sure what it is, but I look forward to coming here. The weather is great for me. It is what I grew up with. Some people think it is too hot, but for me it is perfect."

ON MATURITY AS A DRIVER: "I feel like I have become a smarter racer. Before, I was just always out for the win and maybe just being too erratic and sometimes putting myself, not in a good spot where I needed to be. This year, now understanding the racing a little bit better and understanding how to points race, I think it has probably come down me maturing as not only a driver but as a person. My biggest mentor has been Rick (Hendrick). He has been the one to come to me and talk to me. Being able to watch Jimmie and Jeff and talk to them during the race weekend, it really helps me out and gives me a better sense of what I should be trying."

ON HIS REPUTATION: "You want to do what is right for yourself, your team, owner and sponsors but you want to be yourself. You don't want to be labeled as one of the poster children of NASCAR, or whatever, you do want to be yourself and your own person."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Kasey Kahne , Kyle Busch