KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's-Transformers Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Starting Position: 2nd Is the car where you want it for the race? "Actually I thought the lap was about a second slower than what it was. I thought it was about 60 and they...
No. 18 M&M's-Transformers Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Starting Position: 2nd
Is the car where you want it for the race?
"Actually I thought the lap was about a second slower than what it was. I thought it was about 60 and they said yeah, it was 60 or 70 but I thought it was the other second bracket. I'm really proud of these guys and the whole Transformers-M&M's team. It was definitely a good practice for us - it was better than last year. We came out of the box struggling here last year and this year we came back with what we raced last year. It was really good in the qualifying run. I dumped it off in a couple spots, got loose in a couple spots and didn't think it was that great of a lap. Really pulled one out, so I'm proud of that."
How have you turned into such a great road course racer?
"The racing part is okay, the qualifying part was the problem. I thought that was a really good lap, I wasn't expecting it to get beat. I know practice times were a little faster but with the way the track is a little greased up, I didn't expect it to go that fast. I thought it was a good lap and we got beat. We'll take that and it'll be a good starting spot for us. Hopefully we can keep it up front all day."
How was your run?
"It was a really good run for us. I wasn't expecting to run that great. The car drove well, it really accelerated off the turns pretty well and just had a little bit of an issue there getting off of turn eight through turn nine off of turn 10 and getting through 11 the way I needed to. I felt like I lost too much time through there and gave a little bit up and (Brian) Vickers beat us for the pole. It's still an awesome run for this whole team. All these guys work so hard. We went and tested and shook our car down and feel like we made a lot of gains here and kept those in the car for this year. We're excited about qualifying second today. It's pretty cool to be here right now in second."
How does this car compare to the one you won the race with last year?
"It's similar. It's pretty much the same set-up. We just have a newer car so it just holds a little bit more. The car felt like it drove really well. In race practice earlier today the car wasn't as good as I would have liked it to have been, but we worked on it a little bit and got it a little bit better. We'll pretty much try to run the same thing that we ran here in qualifying - there's not much of a change that we make. Just adding a couple extra hoses for the brakes and the gear and all the stuff to keep the cooling correct in the car and then you just take a little bit of lead for the weight that is in the car and that's about it."
What will your pit strategy be this year with starting at the front?
"We'll run the same strategy, it doesn't matter where you start. If you get a strategy you're going to stick with that strategy it's as simple as that. Last year it just fell our way. We pitted one lap before the caution came out both times. It was like painting a masterpiece. It was just perfect. This year we'll stick to that same plan. You work your way from the end of the race - everybody does this, it's not a secret. You have 110 laps so you can go about 38 or 40 laps on fuel here, however good your mileage is and work your way from there. If you get 40 laps of fuel and you pit with 70 to go and then from there you'll ever pit on lap 26 to 30, somewhere in that range. Whoever the guys are that pit the earliest seem to break out and be better."
-credit: toyota motorsports