Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS, met with members of the media at New Hampshire International Speedway. He discussed his outlook on driving the Impala SS this weekend, the status of his plans for next year, his timetable for making...
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS, met with members of the media at New Hampshire International Speedway. He discussed his outlook on driving the Impala SS this weekend, the status of his plans for next year, his timetable for making a decision about 2008 and other topics.
WHAT'S YOUR OUTLOOK FOR YOUR CAR GOING INTO THIS WEEKEND? "Well it's going to be a different weekend than what we're accustom to here from the past with the new COT and everything at Loudon. It's always been a tough place to pass on so I think it's going to be even tougher to pass now with this car because we seem to have a tough time with it at Phoenix a little bit there and Phoenix and Loudon somewhat resemble each other so it's going to be a daunting task to try to pass out there and we'll just have to see how it goes but all in all it's just going to be something for everybody to try to get used to and try to get out here and get a baseline because this is one of the tracks where we didn't test with the new car so we'll have to see what we can figure out here in the first practice or so."
ON THE STATUS OF TALKS FOR NEXT YEAR: "Well we've been talking with a few people. Penske is not one that I've sat down and talked to with. If those teams want to reveal that, that I've talked to them, then I'm going to let them go ahead and be the ones to do that. There has been one that we haven't heard from yet and hopefully that we will hear soon and eventually maybe but I'm looking forward to being able to hear from McLaren."
HAVE YOU ENJOYED THE PROCESS OF MEETING WITH TEAMS AND SEEING WHAT YOUR VALUE IS? "Well the value hasn't come out money wise. Value as far as talent and them wanting to sit down and discuss things with me, that's of course there. It's been great and it's been something that's been good for me, I believe, being able to go around and see some different things and see different aspects of different organizations and see exactly what they've got going on and what their future holds for them and what they're going with and what they have now. It's been a good process I believe and I'm looking forward to being able to sit down and do some more discussions in the next couple weeks and try to finalize something maybe and get on the road and be done with it."
IS YOUR TIMETABLE A COUPLE WEEKS TO FINALIZE YOUR PLANS FOR 2008? "Well the teams have their timetables with their sponsors and stuff like that, that they have to let them know so we don't want to have to hold them up too much or anything like that. My timetable, I'd like it to be a little bit longer than what some of theirs are. So for me, I would say that mine's probably about four or five weeks away but as far as theirs, there's a couple of teams out there that would like to know within the next three to four so they might have to push back letting their sponsors know by one or two weeks which hopefully wouldn't be a big deal."
COMING HERE WITH A BRAND NEW CAR, DO YOU HAVE TO THROW EVERYTHING OUT OF THE OLD NOTEBOOK OR ARE THERE THINGS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR SUCCESS HERE THAT WILL CARRY THROUGH WITH THE IMPALA SS? "I don't know. We haven't tested here yet so it's kind of an unknown. You know definitely the setup and everything like that is thrown out. We had a couple different sets of springs that we would run a couple of different times that worked and a couple different sets of shocks that would work so I believe all those are out with the new bump stops and everything on the front and the rear wing being different. We used to have to prop the cars up as much as we could get them, now I don't think you have to prop the cars up as bad with the wing. So the biggest thing is just basically trying to find a good balance, trying to get the thing to turn, being able to roll through the center and keep the car turning while you pick up the throttle and not get too loose or get too tight. There's defini tely going to be a balance we're going to have to find so hopefully we can figure it out."
WITH THE COT BEING HARDER TO PASS, DO YOU PUT MORE OF AN EMPHASIS ON QUALIFYING FOR TRACK POSITION? "I haven't qualified better than 24th with that thing yet so I'd love to qualify better but I just can't seem to do it. Jeff's obviously gotten four or five poles with the thing so he's been qualifying pretty well with it. You know in the race for some reason, like I remember Richmond, we qualified 38th or something and we were up in the top 15 within 35 laps or something like that. That place was a little bit wider, it was a little more forgiving, you were able to pass a little bit more and the drivers have to allow you to pass. You have to have some room out there, you have to do the give and take stuff and hopefully it's more giving than it is taking. The biggest thing with being able to pass out there is just trying to get alongside somebody. These cars are all so equal, it's hard to get alongside somebody. With the left side weight the way it is, these cars are basically a 50/50 car - 50 percent front and rear, 50 left to right - and it hurts sometimes because we lock up that left front tire and we can't ever get enough weight on that left front tire to keep it from locking up so if you try to dive bomb somebody into the corner or out brake them or something like at a road course. You can sort of do it here but you got to be easy on the brakes and you can't go in too far because then if you go in too far the thing will never turn in the center, then you'll run somebody up the race track so it's hard."
ON FINDING A TEAM THAT WILL OFFER HIM THE LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE HE'S USED TO AND WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT HE'S LOOKING FOR IN AN ORGANIZATION: "Well just what you just said, somebody looking out for Kyle Busch, somebody that will back me. Somebody that I guess when I'm right back me up and when I'm wrong take me off to the side and tell me and sit down. Just an organization that will be to the point and tell you to your face. I don't need somebody or something or people that will be sort of two faced, they'll be telling you something 'Oh, you're great,' this, that, everything else in the front and then go behind closed doors and talk to somebody else and say 'Man, he's out of control. What are we doing?' this, that or whatever.
"It's just something that you want to have the personnel that's behind you. You want to have the people that are backing you. You want to have the sponsors that appreciate you and that are backing you. And of course being able to have a good relationship with not just the team owner but everybody within the organization."
ON IF AND HOW HE WILL ALIGN HIMSELF WITH A BRAND AND DEMOGRAPHIC THAT FITS KYLE BUSCH: "That's not as important as the competition side. The competition of course is number one. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. we have to remember is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. He can sell a chocolate popsicle to a woman in a white dress. It's easy. Or people have said a ketchup popsicle. Kyle Busch, he wouldn't be able to sell a favorite candy bar to a kid I guess. I've got work to do so I know that and I understand that but I'm looking forward to it. Whichever demographic I get with, whichever sponsor I get with, I want to work with it the best that I can whether it's anything that comes about that fits me or doesn't fit me, I'd like to make it fit me."
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE CAR OF TOMORROW REACTS IN THE DRAFT? "Well we haven't gotten to any big tracks with it yet. You might be able to ask some of the guys that have tested them at say the Michigans or the Talladega or the Charlotte, some people have tested the new car at those tracks. I haven't. I've been aero tight at some of the places that we've been to so far. I've been aero tight at Darlington. I had a little bit of it at Phoenix. I had some of it at Infineon last week. I was going through turn nine and when I was by myself I would turn through turn nine pretty good and when I'd get behind somebody I'd push out. That was something that I've never heard or seen before at a road course so it's definitely something they look forward to."
IS THERE ANY TALK OF GOODYEAR CHANGING THE COMPOUND OF THE TIRE FOR THE NEW CARS? "That would be a great question for a Goodyear representative. I have no idea. I don't know if they're going to change it. I don't know if they're going to stick with what they've got. So far they've stuck with what they've got so I don't know what their future entails."
IN CONTRACT DISCUSSIONS FOR NEXT YEAR, HOW DO YOU MEASURE WHAT YOU NEED TO DO ON THE TRACK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO DO OFF THE TRACK TO MAKE SURE YOU GET INTO A COMPETITIVE SITUATION NEXT YEAR? "The biggest thing for me is just competition and being able to stay on top of the game on the race track. I think the off the race track is an important task but it's not as important as on the race track. I believe that there's certain things that you can do to try to help that out and there's people that are out there that can help you do that stuff. The on the race track is me and the team. The off the race track is me and a separate team, a marketing team or people that are behind you that will help you out and do different things. I can't build a race team but I can have people that can help me build a marketing team behind me."
ON LOOKING FOR SOMEONE THAT WILL BE BEHIND HIM 100 PERCENT AND NOT SOMEONE THAT WILL SAY ONE THING PUBLICLY AND SOMETHING ELSE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS AND IF HE THINKS SOME OF THAT WENT ON AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS: "I knew I was going to get this. No, I don't feel.I didn't see it but I've heard it so I'd rather just look and find somebody that does stand behind me, that I know stands behind me, that I hear it from everybody that they're standing behind me and everything like that instead of hearing it through the grapevine that there's different things being said."
ON GOING TO DAYTONA NEXT WEEK: "Daytona has been an up and down race track for me. I've run well there and I've got taken out of some pretty good finishes that were coming my way I guess. I'm looking forward to being able to go there. It's going to be the last regular car race on a restrictor plate track so hopefully we can make the best of it. I believe we've either got a new car or a car that we've run there before. I'm not quite sure but I think we'll do alright. I think we've got a pretty good shot at being able to run up front. Last year we finished second to (Tony) Stewart there at the end and I believe we had a shot to win there coming down on the last lap when they threw a caution for debris or something like that. We'll see how it goes this time around but I believe that just running the 400 miler there, it's going to be fun and normally we run pretty good there."
-credit: gm racing