Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's / CARQUEST Impala SS met with the media and discussed the penalty regarding the manifold in the Busch car, on Jacques Villeneuve racing at Talladega, what he expects of the new generation race car on a restrictor plate...
Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kellogg's / CARQUEST Impala SS met with the media and discussed the penalty regarding the manifold in the Busch car, on Jacques Villeneuve racing at Talladega, what he expects of the new generation race car on a restrictor plate race, whether he can come from behind in the Chase points standings to win the title, his approach in the Chase, on testing to see how the CoT reacts in a plate race, how the Hendrick cars work together on the track during the Chase, on team orders, his checklist of things to review in practice today, on the test session and the new car's ability to suck up and pass, CoT visibility and paying attention to drivers' hand signals, the mood of the shop after Jimmie Johnson's incident with Brian Vickers at Talladega, and the difference of Lowe's Motor Speedway in May compared to October
Select quotes from driver interview:
REGARDING THE MANIFOLD PENALTY, WERE YOU SURPRISED YOU WERE NOT DOCKED ANY POINTS? "Not really. They've seen that intake manifold before. I was actually kind of surprised. We knew they had to do something. They haven't told us whether or not we're allowed to run that piece anymore. I guess if we want to run it and get fined $10,000 every time, we can. But that wouldn't be very smart. So I guess we've got to find a new intake manifold."
ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT JACQUES VILLENEUVE WAS ABLE TO GET THE CREDENTIALS TO ENTER THIS CUP RACE SO QUICKLY? "The NASCAR process has always been go to the half-mile, go to the three-quarter mile, go to the mile, 1.5-mile, two-mile to make your gradual step up. I had to do that when I came into the Truck Series. And I had to do that throughout the Busch Series. That's why you run those seven races the year before is to get that experience at those tracks and try to work your way up and get approved and go through that approval process. For guys that have just come into this deal now so being in different sport venues, and not ever driven a NASCAR stock car, I guess being a Formula I world champion gives you those credentials. But here by the rest of our token, we worked our way to get here and I don't think it's fair."
ON VILLENEUVE MAKING HIS DEBUT AT TALLADEGA? "I wouldn't doubt that Jacques Villeneuve isn't a tremendous talent and that he doesn't have the ability to do it or the ability to be competitive and to be fast here, the only problem that all of us do have is that he's making his debut at Talladega. He could go anywhere else and make his debut. Go to Martinsville, that's fine. Go to Phoenix, that's fine. Loudon, whatever. The biggest thing is that this is a Talladega plate race and these things are already out of control sometimes.
"But I'm sure he's going to be smart enough and understanding enough that he needs to learn. I wouldn't say he's going to be one of those aggressive type rookies that will go out there and try to make his way to the front and win the thing, he's just here to gain experience first off and foremost."
IS THERE ANY CONCERN AMONG THE DRIVERS ABOUT WHAT ONE OF THESE NEW CARS MIGHT DO IF IT GETS BACKWARDS AT 190 MPH? "I think it's going upside down."
WHAT IS ON YOUR CHECKLIST OF THINGS YOU WANT TO GO OVER IN PRACTICE TODAY? WHAT ARE SOME THNGS THAT YOU STILL WANT TO SEE WHEN YOU GET IN A 15 OR 20-CAR PACK? "I want to see how well the car sucks up and see what happens when you get outside of the draft and how hard it hits the wall and falls backwards and how long it takes to recover and what other guys cars drive like and whether or not there is any different manufacturer you can run better with or a different car in general that you run better with. And just kind of the same old stuff that you would do at any other restrictor plate track really; just trying to get a feel for it again and get used to it."
HOW MANY CARS AHEAD CAN YOU SEE THROUGH WITH THE NEW CAR AND HOW DOES THAT PLAY INTO YOUR STRATEGY? "You used to be able to see through the guy in front of you to see the guy in front of him. But right now, it takes more to look around the guy. Before, you could just move over to the side a little bit and see around him. Now you've got to get out completely from behind him almost to see around him because the greenhouses are so big. You can't see through the guy well enough with the big greenhouse so now you've got to go all the way around it. It's hard to see."
ARE THE DRIVERS TALKING ABOUT THE CARS GETTING BACKWARDS AND THE WING POSSIBLY LIFTING THEM OFF THE GROUND? "No, it hasn't been conversation among drivers in the garage. I just think it's a fact. If you look at it, there's the back bumper of the car it's scooping air right up underneath that blade, right underneath the wing. Any time you push air up against something it's going to lift it up. So I don't know that there's going to be enough air that goes between the deck lid and the wing, I think it's just all going to get packed up right there and they're going to go airborne. But I guess they're hoping the roof flaps are big enough and strong enough to hold the car down on the ground. But I think it would have been cool if we came up with some sort of quick release device that if there was air that got packed up underneath that and the wing would fly forward and flop up on the front side of the deck lid. I don't know if anybody ever thought of that or if anybody ever came up with a solution in order to do that. And it would still keep it in position as it was going in the forward direction. So that was maybe something we could have thought of before, but it's too late now."
-credit: ford racing