KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Pretzel Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 1st Did having a later qualifying draw help in securing the pole position? "I felt good about the cloud cover coming over just before we went out there. I...
No. 18 M&M's Pretzel Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 1st
Did having a later qualifying draw help in securing the pole position?
"I felt good about the cloud cover coming over just before we went out there. I knew the track was probably going to pick up some grip. I really thought we needed to charge and take advantage of that opportunity. Of course the way lap times were picking up from practice anyway, there was a bunch of guys that picked up seven, eight, nine, even a full second of time, so I had to give it all she had and we made a good lap there. The M&M's Pretzel car was fast. I'm real proud of the guys and Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and everybody that worked hard on making some changes during practice to try to get the car to my liking a little more. We made some good changes there for qualifying trim that really helped us that we'll keep in there for tomorrow and see if we can't make them work in race trim, too."
Does not splitting your time between Trucks or Nationwide this weekend help with your focus?
"I don't think so. I would have been leaving after practice so the way that we were throughout the day in qualifying was fine. It's a good thing I didn't have to go anywhere with all the obligations here, I wouldn't make the Truck race. I feel like this will be a good, laid back weekend. I've done it before where I've had success at doing that. If people want to say that it proves just sitting back and running one thing a weekend, it works but it very easily may. We'll see where we run on Sunday, though."
What would a win here on Sunday mean in your 200th series start?
"It'd mean a lot. I've documented before that this is a place I struggle at. Running well here means a lot and having Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and the guys bring a great piece to the race track with a good M&M's Pretzel car is fun because you can come around here and it can be really, really frustrating around this place because it is so long. You can beat your head against the head rest for almost a minute in a lap. When you have a good race car and you can run around there, you really look forward to coming in the next corner to do what you need to do to get through there. Of course when there's guys in front of you, you're chasing them down just trying to lead."
Why can you qualify well at Pocono, but not get a good finish?
"I think the biggest thing about the qualifying versus the race here is that I can always be up on top of the speed charts in practice and I think it's just because I can throw a lap together. To continually do that during a race run, during tire fall off, during loss of fuel and the tires getting old and stuff. You really have to change what's going on. You can't run the same lap time every single time. You fall off quite a bit, about half a second over five laps so you're changing quite a bit. I think that's my biggest pit fall here is just not being able to keep up with my car and the track at the same time. Maybe I can change that this time around."
Are you looking forward to being Jimmie Johnson's team captain at the 'Prelude to the Dream?'
"As far as being Jimmie's (Johnson) captain for the Prelude. It's going to be fun. It's still going to be a race within a race, trying to go out and win and everybody do what they can to try to win the race, but what's really special is the way that Tony (Stewart) has put on the race within the race this year with all the children's hospitals and being a part of Team Levine, especially with Tayler Gibbs going through all his treatments and everything at that hospital and the stuff that has gone on in his family, it's cool to have me pulling for those guys and hopefully myself and I feel like I have a pretty good team. You look at it and they lined up the teams really well. You look at it and it's like, 'Man, that's a really, really good guy and oh, that's a really good guy and I want that guy.' It will be a hard fought race for sure. I don't know who picked the teams, but I will give them credit, they did a nice job of picking the teams. I don't think drivers had a choice in it. Being a Gillette Young Gun, it's going to be fun and with the Gillette Fusion Pro Glide coming out in the next couple days, it's going to be cool to see that event and everybody can see it on HBO Pay-Per-View."
-source: toyota motorsports