Talladega: Winning team press conference, part 2

Continued from part 1 Q: Not trying to get you to brag on yourself but a little bit, you're having the kind of season that basically people have on video games; this is not what people do in the real world KYLE BUSCH: I do better on video...

Continued from part 1

Q: Not trying to get you to brag on yourself but a little bit, you're having the kind of season that basically people have on video games; this is not what people do in the real world

KYLE BUSCH: I do better on video games than I do in real life.

Q: That's hard to believe. Have you stopped and caught a breath during all of this?

KYLE BUSCH: I haven't because JD won't give me a weekend off. I won't be catching many breaths going on here.

It's good times, just I don't know what to put it all on exactly.

But you know, I guess I'm a decent enough driver that when you give me a good enough car, we can do something with it and you know put in the right position and we're able to run up front and do well, and I think it's raining outside.

Q: Everyone is talking about how your driver is such a sensation but anyone who has been working hell like you for ten years, did you ever worry that maybe over the last couple of years you would

STEVE ADDINGTON: You look at the last three years, they haven't been really good.

I'm just thankful to be with an organization that knew what was going on and I have two great chiefs to work with every day, and you know, he probably had meetings with them to see what we were doing on the 18 car.

We've just been very, very fortunate that Kyle has come in and he's fit in and with time he's getting better. We were able to provide him with decent race cars and we're working towards that and that's good. Yeah, I'm very thankful for the position I'm in with this year with organization.

JOE GIBBS: I will say last week there was an article rating the crew chiefs, Steve was No. 1, and I said: "Don't hit me up for a bonus."

Q: Coach, you've obviously got in Kyle and Denny Hamlin, two franchise players and I'm sure if there's anybody who knows about franchise players, you've certainly got to be the guy. And I know you've addressed a lot of the issues earlier today, but is that make it twice as difficult knowing you have a couple franchise players now, and when you know it's time to make a decision to have guys move on or have gives stay when you have some young franchise players sitting there next to you?

JOE GIBBS: No. I think for us, each one of the cars, I think back, you think about the 18 car and the way we struggled and Norm Miller (ph) and Interstate have stuck with us all that time and Kyle has a great relationship with Norm and to see that car come back to life; and I know everybody here at Joe Gibbs Racing, we have a huge responsibility to FedEx, Home Depot, Mars, Interstate, and all the other sponsors; I mention those, but each car and each situation is separate.

Tony, the thing about Tony is we have been together for ten years, and it's been a great ride and that's why we don't want it to stop. We would love to have that work out pretty much the way it did last time.

So we'll just have to go through, this but the way I'm looking at it is, you know, we definitely feel like only certain people are good enough to try these things and we're so fortunate to have the two young guys and we think Tony is in the same boat as the proven winner and so I want to try to keep everything together.

Q: Is there any extra satisfaction with the way the year is going, given how things went down last year with Hendrick?

KYLE BUSCH: I left there on some pretty good terms with all the guys. I've got a lot of great friends over there in that organization with the guys that are on the team, and guys that are in resources and everything like that. And so even Rick, you know, he came over to the car here today before the race and he wished me good luck. So there's no hard feelings there or no shoving it in their face saying I'm better than you or anything like that. It's just to go out there and do the best I possibly can for myself and for these guys with Job Gibbs Racing that's who I'm driving for now. We're going to take the initiative in order to try to do that week in and week out.

Q: There seems to be so much more talk about how much more patient you are; is that something you consciously recognize, or was there a point that you realize that if you throttled back with the aggression you would have a better finish?

KYLE BUSCH: I am going to thank Robert Pimmerton (ph) for that one. We had a conversation I think after Martinsville and instead of trying to finish third and coming back to the checkered flag in one piece, I aimed for second and that was a bad idea. So I had a little talk and things have been better since. You know, still it's just about trying to finish these races.

I learned years ago that first you must finish to finish first and I let that slip my mind for a little while and became an idiot for a bit and sort of remembered someone telling me that again and it's sort of worked here the past three or four weeks.

Whatever that's been, it's been good and maybe even told my driver racing for me last night in Georgia, we were running second, I told him that before the race and we were doing fine minding our own business and got run over and nothing he could have done differently. So just that saying goes a long way.

Q: Your job is to be calm in the car but it's so crazy out there; were there moments where you had to force yourself, moments in which you could feel your heart jump at the closeness of what was about to happen?

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, at that point where we missed pit road coming down, I was mad as hell but we straightened it up and got better and we made it to the (indiscernible) we came down the next time and got our stuff and got a lap down.

You know these races are so long, I looked at the scoreboard and saw there's a hundred laps to go. And I figure there's got to be another caution at some point and keep ourselves in the position of the lucky draw, and fortunately I was fast enough to be within the lead group of cars and keep myself going by those guys. And when the caution did fall, we were a couple spots ahead and I think at that time it was my brother, so we were able to get back on the lead lap there.

Q: Early in the race you seemed unhappy with Denny in the draft, could you explain that and also how has the team chemistry been affected? KYLE BUSCH: I don't like that guy. He's trying to start something that shouldn't be started. (Laughter)

I was a little upset when Denny, we were running one, two, three there and Tony was leading and I was second and Denny was third and bump drafting being a little aggressive and knocked me out of the way and went on to get behind Tony and I had to fall back a few spots.

Luckily I only fell back to 7th or 8th but as far as that went Tony and whatever he does, that's between these guys here and Tony and you know, he's had good offers over the years and he's always stayed.

So I'm great friends with Tony, I'm a great teammate with him and you know I can remain great friends with him if he moves on and I can remain great friends and a teammate with him if he stays here.

You know, fortunately for me I'm in a good spot and where I want to be driving the 18 M&M's Toyota and what the driver of the 11 does or what the driver of the 20 does sometimes out there during the race, sometimes you're not going to be happy with the moves they make but you go on with it, you salvage it and guess what, that's all that matters.

Q: Denny said if you're not a race fan, you don't know what racing is about; he called it the best race of the year; would you agree?

KYLE BUSCH: I don't know. I'd have to go back and rewatch it. From where I was sitting there was some times where when I was running in a three car draft, I was bored as hell and I got over that. I got back on the lucky dog, got back on a lead lap it was an exciting race. There was times where it got pretty impatient and guys were making bold moves and bump drafting and it got a little crazy but it all worked out. You know, Denny could be right but like I said, I haven't seen it from the fans perspective. I've only seen it from where I was sitting.

Q: Early in the week, you were not excited to be here

KYLE BUSCH: I wasn't. I wreck every time I come here; so what's there to be excited about except a tore up race car? But I am now and that's pretty cool. We were able to bring M&M's their first win of the year; the other one was Snickers, to M&M's their first win of the year and bring Toyota another win to the series and here to Talladega, I think that's pretty cool.

So now they have won on a mile and a half, a short track with Denny and myself and here at Talladega, so they are doing pretty good.

Q: Denny said that you guys probably wouldn't have been too happy with him if he pushed Montoya past the 18, so what is he expected to do here?

JOE GIBBS: I think Kyle will tell you this, we never tell our drivers other than, hey, you've got teammates and we'd like to treat each other as teammates. But certainly towards the end of races, it's every man for himself. And obviously the restrictor plate race, you'd like to be close enough, and I actually felt like Denny was coming hard trying to get there.

I think he would have helped Kyle had it been the case.

The other thing I want to say, big thanks to Abe and Lee and all the guys at Toyota, particularly TRD. I want to make a point to tell all those guys that their hard work out there in a short period of time, it's been a great relationship and we really appreciate it.

Q: At the beginning of the year, everybody is hopeful, and you have a brand new team; what were your expectations? Did you have any idea at all it would work that well at the beginning?

KYLE BUSCH: I hoped that it was going to. I knew that I was getting with a great organization who had been in contention to win championships in all of their years pretty much in racing and with Tony being as good as he is, and with contending for the championships for the past however many years.

And with Denny only being two years in the series, we have only been able to contend and I think with my ability and the cars that these guys have, hopefully it will all work out and the chemistry would be there and it would click and so far it has.

That's just been the greatest satisfaction, being able to come over here to Joe Gibbs Racing, it's just been the chemistry has worked, all the guys, they are great to work with, guys on the team, guys in the shop are very cool and everybody is out for one thing and that's to make Joe Gibbs Racing be No. 1.

Right now so far this year, I'd have to say that we are pretty close. The 99 has been great on the mile and a half stuff, and Hendrick has always had the short track stuff, so we've been right there with them the about a willing it out on the mile and a half stuff and we've been fortunate enough to win one of those so I feel like we're close.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Denny Hamlin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing