Phoenix: Kyle Busch - GM Top-10 interview

Phoenix International Raceway Weekly Top-10 Behind the Hauler Chat with Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS BEHIND THE HAULER CHAT WITH KYLE BUSCH, NO. 5 KELLOGG'S MONTE CARLO SS: IS THE SUN A BIG FACTOR IN SATURDAY'S ...

Phoenix International Raceway
Weekly Top-10 Behind the Hauler Chat with Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Monte Carlo SS


IS THE SUN A BIG FACTOR IN SATURDAY'S RACE? "In the spring, it's more of a factor out of Turn 4 than it is down the front straightaway in the fall. There is going to be a little bit to be said about that as far as the drivers go. But we'll all put enough duct tape on our windshields and on our visors where we can try to shield it as much as possible."

IS IT COMFORTING TO COME TO A TRACK WHERE YOU RUN WELL? "I like coming here anyway. This was my first-ever Nextel -- back then, Winston Cup -- race that I ever watched. It's a place where it's a lot of fun to drive. I really enjoy it. The dogleg down the back straightaway down in Turns 1 and 2 being different than Turns 3 and 4, so everything that this place has as far as characteristics, is kind of cool."

TALK ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH KURT BUSCH "He's been a tremendous help at every step along with way. Being my brother and giving me the support and everything I've needed over the years is pretty great. The relationship we have together is a lot of fun. We can race ATV's and whatnot when we have some downtime. But overall, as far as him helping me out throughout my career, I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him being able to giving me some advice."

GROWING UP THE YOUNGER BROTHER, WAS KURT ALWAYS NICE TO YOU? "No, he wasn't always nice to me. We had some battles. I'm the younger brother who always wants to do what the older brother does. With him being six and a half, seven years older than I am, makes it difficult for me to go do the same things that he does. When he gets the drivers license at age 16 and I'm only 10, he doesn't want to hang out with his 10-year-old brother. He wants to go out and hang with his friends. I've always had that to battle with."

WITH ALL THE RECENT CREW CHIEF CHANGES, WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE IF THAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND ALAN GUSTAFSON? "They wouldn't shift my crew chief, I'll tell you that. I've got that in my contract now. He ain't going anywhere."


"Well, they're just trying to change the chemistry around a little bit I guess. Kurt (Busch) went through it a couple of times back at Roush Racing. There are some things that they do that are different than what we do at Hendrick Motorsports. We've never really had to go through a crew chief swap. We've been able to put teams together to make it a better relationship that moving around crew chiefs in general. Maybe that's what works for their organization compared to what works for ours."

YOU AND KURT BUSCH ARE AGGRESSIVE ON THE TRACK. ARE THE BUSCH BROTHERS SOMETIMES MISUNDERSTOOD? "We drive hard, man. That's what we're out there to do. We're out there to drive hard and win races. That's what we enjoy doing. We're not here to lay back and run between 15th and 30th. We're out here to win races and do the job that our sponsors and car owners want us to do."

ON MAKING HIS 50TH CUP RACE START THIS WEEKEND "I never thought I'd make 20. It's pretty awesome to make 50. It's pretty awesome for Delphi and Kellogg's and Carquest to come up with this special (paint) scheme that we have for this weekend is something that's pretty special. We're excited about that and hopefully we can bring it into victory lane again."

DO YOU FEEL MORE CONFIDENCE HERE NOW AFTER WINNING LAST NOVEMBER? "Not really, no. It's just a track that I tend to run well on in the Busch Series and now in the Cup Series. I like coming here. It's a lot of fun. I enjoy this place and the differences between the corners and the dogleg down the back straightaway, but nothing that tends to give me any more confidence."

ON BEING CITED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING AFTER THE RICHMOND TEST "I was coming out of the gas station and I laid on the pedal a little too hard I guess and went about 20 feet in less than 10 mph and pulled into the KFC gas station and stopped in order to allow some pedestrians across who had just finished eating their dinner and I went into the drive through and was done with my order before I ever saw any lights in my rear view mirror. I got a ticket for reckless driving, which I don't consider it was reckless driving. But obviously the law is what it is and the officer who pulled me over you know.

"I've got the utmost respect for all of them because they have a job to do and they never know what they're getting into or what they're dealing with. The only to put this deal to rest is to go to my court date on May 23rd and see what happens next."

ON THE BUMPER CHANGE FOR TALLADEGA "There will be a little bit different racing. You're not going to be able to bump as much or as hard as we have in the past. But I think everybody is going to save their stuff until the end of the race and they are definitely going to start beating and banging then. That's when it's crunch time anyway and when you normally see a lot of stuff happening in the last 30 -- especially in the last 20 laps."

BUMPING AND BANGING AT RICHMOND IS OKAY. DO YOU LIKE THAT KIND OF RACING? "At Richmond, you try not to bump and bang because that place is awful fast short track. It's a very fast place for the size it is. It's a place that I tend to run well at. We're taking the same car back there that we finished 4th with last year both times. Hopefully we can have a strong run there. Richmond, for it's size and for it's characteristics, is a place that a lot of drivers like. It's a place where I can see it being changed a little bit. I wouldn't build another one exactly like it. I would change it a little bit to see if you could make something better."

DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT KURT BUSCH'S CEREMONIAL FIRST PITCH AT THE DIAMONDBACKS-GIANTS GAME AT CHASE FIELD TUESDAY NIGHT SAILING OVER THE CATCHER? "I did hear a little bit about it, but wasn't exactly clear on what happened, but I guess he missed home plate by quite a bit."

ARE YOU GOING TO TALK TO HIM ABOUT THAT OR TRY TO WORK WITH HIM ON IT? "He used to be a pretty good ballplayer and probably a little bit better than I was. I'm not sure what to account for on that one. It is what it is. I know when I threw my first pitch out, I hit home plate pretty well. It was at the Atlanta Braves game a couple of years ago."

ARE YOU PLEASED WITH YOUR PERFORMANCE IN NASCAR CUP SO FAR? "I'm happy with the numbers I've put up so far, but I think there can still be a lot more that what I do have. I'd like to be more successful than what I've been. I'd like to have more than just two wins. I'd like to have finished better than 20th last year in the final point standings. "Right now, I wish we were better than 7th. You always wish you were better. So to say we're happy with it, yeah. But to say we're overly happy or overly excited about it, we're not.

"I've always had high expectations for myself and put myself on high criticism. Sometimes maybe I do overdrive my cars but that's because I'm trying to go out there and win the race. That might be my problem where I need to settle down and get into a rhythm of how to win races. But I've got seven Busch Series wins, three Truck Series wins, and two Cup Series wins, so something's going right for me, I guess."

ON THE ALL-STAR RACE, HOW TOUGH IS IT FOR THOSE GUYS WHO HAVE TO ADVANCE THROUGH THE OPEN? "It's very tough. I was fortunate enough to be in that race for my very first time to understand what exactly it's all about. That race is awfully tough. You definitely have to have a good handling race car and a fast race car to be able to transfer through. There is some pit strategy involved too because when you come down to it, you can either stay out there the whole run or you can come in and get new tires. But this time around it's going to be a different story with the way the tires are going to be. The tires are going to be so hard it's not going to make a whole lot of difference. But if your car is ill handling, you're going to have to come in and do something. Otherwise, you're not going to have a shot, period. This is going to be a lot different race than what you're accustomed to over the past years.

"It's a race where there's a lot on the line. You either win and move on, or you go home. If you can move on, that's basically an extra test session for the 600, so it's a race that you want to be involved in, the All-Star show."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports