Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/Carquest Impala SS, met with members of the media to discuss the challenges at Martinsville, on making the transition to the Impala SS, the effects of the new bumper height and more. WILL IT BE EASIER OR HARDER...
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/Carquest Impala SS, met with members of the media to discuss the challenges at Martinsville, on making the transition to the Impala SS, the effects of the new bumper height and more.
WILL IT BE EASIER OR HARDER DRIVING THE IMPALA SS THIS WEEKEND AT A DIFFERENT TRACK? "It's tougher now because last week we actually had a test session before we had to be in Bristol. This week everybody is just kind of coming in here cold turkey off any short track tests they might have gone to or anything like that. So it's going to be difficult for us to hit it right off the bat and right out of the trailer but everybody is going to be working hard I'm sure for this first practice."
CAN YOU TAKE ANYTHING FROM LAST WEEK TO THIS WEEK WITH IT BEING A SHORT TRACK EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE DIFFERENT? "No, nothing really. The only real thing you can take is maybe what your adjustments did during the race but Bristol and Martinsville are so different that you're going to be doing different things this week than maybe what you did last week."
DID NASCAR CALL YOU ABOUT YOUR COMMENTS LAST WEEKEND? "Nope. They were open to it. They want to have some criticism of it and everything like that but this week is a different week now so we want to try to get the Impala SS back in victory lane again."
DID YOU TEST THIS WEEK ANYWHERE? "Actually, no. Before we went to Bristol we went to Caraway so we had a little bit of a test up there. It went decent. It's just that the car didn't turn very well. It didn't drive down the straightaway very well so we'll have to see if we can change that here this weekend."
ON HIS CURRENT THOUGHTS ABOUT NASCAR'S NEXT GENERATION RACE CAR? "I'm not a huge fan of it but I'm sure it's here to stay so we've got to turn it around and try to get more work done on it. Everybody at Hendrick Motorsports have done their part and all the engineering staff and everybody have done an awesome job with it so far. We were able to come out and win the first pole and win the first race and we were the first car through the chassis inspection process and the first car to get a sticker with the Car of Tomorrow. Hopefully we can make it two for two."
HOW HARD IS THIS WHEN YOU HAVE A CAR YOU GOT USED TO DRIVING AND SWITCHING TO A CAR YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND? "That's what the hardest thing about it is. We're so used to the car that we have and everything with it has been developed. We've had time with it and we've been able to do everything with it that we need to do. We've been able to get a lot of grip out of that thing and now you come to this where it doesn't have a whole lot of grip and it's harder to drive, it's harder to set up and right now they're just not that fun to drive. If we can probably get a little bit better with it, you never know, we might be able to get it at least more comfortable throughout the run."
ON THE CAR NOT BEING THAT FUN TO DRIVE: "It's probably not bad for most. The best thing I can probably describe it as is going from an Indy car which has substantial amounts of downforce to going into a stock car which doesn't. Tony Stewart has done that so he knows what it's like but the rest of us really have (not done that before). You go to something that drives pretty good and you've got a lot of grip with it and now you just don't have it so it's harder."
ON PROBLEMS WITH FUMES THAT SOME DRIVERS TALKED ABOUT IN BRISTOL: "I didn't have any to be honest with you. I'm not sure if maybe some of those guys had the problem, knocked the right side crush panel out or something like that. I don't know. I didn't have any."
ON CONCERNS WITH PEOPLE HITTING THE SPLITTER: "Yeah, that was a concern definitely. I saw that on a replay from last week on a highlight show or something like that where Casey (Mears) got his splitter cut by just a little bit of contact. So that's a little worrisome there. Also, the other thing is when you have a flat right front tire the car lands on the splitter and it's a skid. It's a ski. You go faster. There's no rubber on the race track to slow you down so it's kind of dangerous in my book.
"When the right front tire goes flat, the car goes right down on the splitter and it's like a ski. There's no rubber on the race track. There's nothing that is going to slow you down before you hit the wall. You're just going to pick up speed."
WHAT ARE YOU HOPING NASCAR WILL DO TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS ON THIS CAR? "The first thing is we can probably work on the front splitter height a little bit right now just to try to get us a little bit more front grip out of the car. We're kind of limited and boxed in on what we can do on the front end. The splitter height has a lot to do with that. They were going to come up with that rule in the Craftsman Truck Series and I'm glad they didn't. They tried it here first because I don't think it works very well. They want to make parity. They want to make everybody pretty equal but we got to get these things driving better first, give us a little bit bigger box to work in."
ON JIMMIE JOHNSON TALKING ABOUT USING OXYGEN HERE. DO YOU DO THAT? "No. I've never heard of anything like that or doing anything with that."
ON GOING TO TEXAS: "Texas is a tough track for me for some reason. I run good there in the Busch car or the trucks but the Cup car I struggle. We finally were able to finish fourth there last fall and we'll see how it goes this time around. It's a fast track. The bumps in one and two I guess are fixed so we'll just have to see how it goes."
WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE OF THIS TRACK AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT? "Honestly it's the whole thing almost. It's braking, turning and getting drive off the corner. The biggest thing is just trying to get the grip through the corner that you need in order to be able to roll the fastest. You can roll through the corner but whoever rolls through the corner the fastest is of course the best. You're on such edge here because there's not a whole lot of load on the race car. You're pretty much just on the flat of the tire. There's no downward pressure pushing you into the track."
WITH THE BUMPER HEIGHT ON THE IMPALA SS, HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THINGS WITH PEOPLE GETTING BEHIND SOMEONE AND LIFTING? "Ever watch Legends car racing at Charlotte? Ever seen anybody lay a bumper and knock somebody up out of the way, just push them? You lay into their bumper and just push them. You can use the guy in front of you for your brake. Instead of being scared of lifting the guy and spinning him out, now you can just lay your bumper on him and push him out of the way and get by him."
IS THAT A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING? "I'd say it's a pretty bad thing, wouldn't you?"
HOW DID YOU HAVE TO ADJUST TO THAT AND WHAT DID YOU FIND WITH THAT AT BRISTOL? "I didn't have to move anybody. I just turned underneath him and drove by them if I could. If I couldn't get by them, it wasn't worth making anybody mad and stuff like that. I don't work on trying to hit anybody. I don't work on trying to move somebody out of the way. If I do, it's on accident. I more so just try to pass them and get by them."
ON DALE JR. SAYING THIS IS KIND OF A GOOD THING SINCE YOU DON'T SPIN THEM OUT? "Well, you can spin 'em out. You just have to do it hard enough and I guess in the right trajectory. To me in Legends cars when I got knocked out of the way I knew it was on purpose so I didn't like it very much. At least on the old cars if somebody drove in the corner a little bit too deep and got underneath you and moved you out of the way or spun you out or something like that, it might have been on accident because you couldn't hit each other then. Now you can so you're never going to know if it's on accident or (on) purpose. We're going to see a lot more lies, how about that?"
ON HIS PLANS FOR NEXT WEEK: "Well it's Easter weekend. We were actually talking about going to Nashville and running the Busch race but we vetoed that. Instead we're going to take a weekend off and just lay around and take it easy and spend time with the family for Easter."
-credit: gm racing