For Kyle Busch it is all about helping Hamlin win the championship

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Is helping Denny Hamlin win the championship the focus of all the JGR teams? "For us at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), it's definitely about Denny Hamlin. That's what we're all trying to do, that's what we're all trying to accomplish -- to get him a championship and help him as best as we can. This past weekend at Loudon (N.H.) -- he didn't need any help. We were using him up for his help trying to make our cars a little bit better. I ran my setup and then we swapped over in practice to his setup and it was a little looser for me getting into the corners so we went back to my setup, but my setup was second-quicker. We probably had a pretty easy second-place car at Loudon. As it goes, Denny had paper on the grill and we had issues going on so we slowed down to help him out and take care of that issue for him. Just tried to do what we could to stay out of everybody else's way and not mess anything else up. Down the stretch here, it will be important for us that if we have a good car that we try to help those guys out as best we can. If there's a Charlotte or a Texas or something where we're really, really good and he's not running so good, I'll get out of the car and he can come over and jump in mine and drive it to see if he likes it. If that's the case then it's pretty easy to swap over setups and stuff. We're kind of on 2013 mode right now -- working on things to see what '13 is going to bring us and if something works and is faster then that's good."

Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

Are there more goals for your team this year? "We've moved to '13. There's really nothing in '12 that we've got left to accomplish besides win. We'll try to do that and get what we can for our M&M's team and get into victory lane before the years out. Other than that, our push right now is our new cars. We've got to start working on those and building those. We've got a couple tests coming up for the 2013 car. A lot of body changes are going to happen and chassis changes as well too with NASCAR making the cars lighter for next year. We've got to go ahead and get started on that. Beyond what else there is to work on -- you have to just start out the year better. We had a few dismal runs early on in the year and then we had our May stretch that we ran in the top-five five weeks in a row and from there all hell broke loose. We knocked ourselves out of the Chase and haven't been able to recover. We'll hopefully have better luck than that next year."

How difficult is a season like this? "It's tough -- it's certainly very frustrating and a little bit demoralizing too when you have a year like this. Sometimes I've seen guys have these type of years and I'm just like, 'Man.' You see it from the outside and its like, 'Man, what are they doing? It's got to hurt.' Now we're in that situation and certainly it's not something you want to have to deal with. We've struggled a little bit this year with getting finishes that we feel like we've deserved or where we've been running to where we've finished aren't mirroring each other. For example, at Loudon we were a second-place car and we finished 28th with it. Certainly, very disappointing when we've had those days as well as some other days that we've had."

Have you gotten over missing the Chase? "You get over it as best you can I guess. It's still in your mind -- you're going every weekend just to make circles and hope you can win. If you don't win then it's pretty much a waste. It's tough, but we go to the race track to do the best job we can. We just continue learning and continue building for 2013."

What will the new rules be for the 2013 car? "Getting into the new car specs for next year -- I don't think there has really been a rule book sent out yet. There has been a lot of rumors and talks -- NASCAR has told us, 'Expect this, expect this, expect this,' but nothing for sure. They told us to expect one thing and then two weeks later they tell us to expect something else. We've just got to work in that direction and kind of work towards what we feel like we know is coming. As far as the parameters being exact -- right now, they're not yet. Cars are going to be lighter -- is it 100 or 160 pounds? We don't know. They're definitely making some aero changes for next year with the 2013 car, which I think I'm the test dummy for that in two weeks at Texas. It will be interesting from what I hear."

What is it like to be a part of Joe Gibbs Racing 100 NSCS wins? "It's awesome. I had a small piece of getting Hendrick Motorsports their 200 wins and I had a small piece in getting JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) their 100 wins. It feels good and just to be a part of two organizations like that has been pretty phenomenal in my career. I'm happy to be where I'm at with Joe Gibbs Racing -- they do a tremendous job and Denny's (Hamlin) really been doing a good job these past few seasons being able to be as consistent as he's been -- still winning races and still running up front and everything. For us to bring home win number 100 --whether I could have done it or Denny did it was going to be cool. Now we've reached that milestone so now we can look towards the next 100."

Source: Toyota Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Joe Gibbs Racing
Article type Interview
Tags busch, dover, gibbs, monster mile, toyota