Charlotte: Winning team interview

KYLE BUSCH , No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st How strong was your truck tonight? "This team did a great job in preparing a great truck to come out here with. Unfortunately, I tried to screw...

KYLE BUSCH , No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st

How strong was your truck tonight?

"This team did a great job in preparing a great truck to come out here with. Unfortunately, I tried to screw it up. I guess the driver owes the owner a little bit of money tonight. That won't go over well tomorrow. Can't thank Z-Line Designs enough -- Jim Sexton (owner, Z-Line Designs), Monica (Sexton) and all those guys there that came on board to help us out there. Maybe this means something so if you want to buy some furniture, now is the time to get some, I'm sure there's plenty of Memorial Day sales going on. Of course, Toyota, NOS Energy Drink, Marquis Jets, Gillette, the fans and Camping World for the series and NASCAR and those guys. It was fun there tonight, we made it interesting I guess. Not wanting to do it, but did it anyway."

How long of a day was this for you and the team?

"I made it a little longer day for them and I made it a longer week for them. We have a quick turnaround, this thing has to be the backup for JB (Johnny Benson) going to Texas so we have some work to do to turn it around. These guys can do it. They're a great bunch of guys and can't thank Eric (Phillips, crew chief) enough and Rick Ren (competition director) and those guys, they did a phenomenal job for me. They gave me a great race truck. We unload and we're strong and we made some minor changes to it to try to work on it somewhat and we were able to prevail here tonight. We were able to beat those guys. They were tough to try to get by, I wasn't sure if without a restart I was going to be able to get by them. I was just getting too loose on the long runs. That paid off tonight, but maybe we'll have to go to work a little bit more."

Did you knock the tow out of your truck when you hit the wall?

"Maybe a little bit, but it didn't mess the tow up too bad, actually it made it to where I could drive it and I started coming back through there a little bit. I just knocked some tight into it. We fixed it and I got back to being a little bit loose. I don't know what the deal was there. We'll go to work and try to fix it. We weren't the best truck here tonight, but I think we were really good and when you're really good you can work your way through the traffic."

Do you enjoy having to race from the back of the pack during a race?

"I guess it makes for a better show. To me, it's fun to win either way. If I'm out front leading or whether I have to come through the pack and battle and race a little bit. I was worried there with 30 (laps) to go or so I got by (Todd) Bodine and it just got loose. I was trying to run down (Ron) Hornaday and I could get to within a car length of him and I would stall out. I would get too loose and then he would pull away from me. I would try to go to the top of the race track and I couldn't get a good enough run off the corner to run any closer on him. It was going to take some smarts on my part to figure something out in order to get by him and try to build a push into the truck because I was a little bit loose. It was going to take something to work him over. The caution came out there and we had a restart to where I could race Hornaday down through (turns) one and two down the backstretch and get by him in (turns) three and four and set sail from there. The last race cautions add some drama to it of course and makes it frustrating on our part. Especially considering that last week we had an issue, this week we didn't have an issue so that was good."

Did the numerous restarts concern you toward the end of the race?

"I had a concern there on that last restart when they put the oil dry down. I held the inside lane lower because I didn't want to have to run through that, that's not fair to the outside lanes. I stayed a little bit lower so I wasn't in the stuff, in the kitty litter, so it wouldn't spin the tires and I could get a good launch."

Do you focus on the fact that you have now won 70 races in NASCAR's top-three series?

"Not really, no, not as much as some might think. I've been fortunate to be surrounded by great people. I've got Eric Phillips (crew chief) and Rick Ren (competition director) and these guys that do a great job for my race team. Jason Ratcliff (crew chief), one of the best Nationwide crew chiefs that I've ever worked with and of course, Dave Rogers (crew chief) who has done a phenomenal job coming on board with the Cup stuff. I can't discredit the people that I've worked with before over at Hendrick Motorsports at all either. They were great people and got me wins over there, that's where it all started. It's really taken off since getting over with Joe Gibbs Racing and the Toyota bandwagon, those guys have really done a phenomenal job giving me what I need to win races and maybe I was winning a little too much I think back in '08 where NASCAR made the (restrictor) plate size changes in Nationwide and Truck so that made it harder on us. Still, we've been able to do a good job at being able to overcome those issues and come out here like tonight and win another one."

Do you keep track of the total number of wins as you earn them?

"When they come and you get another one, it's just another tally. I can count probably a good 20 to 30 that I've given up. That's the scary part is that I may have 70 now, but I guarantee that there's probably 20 or 30 that I have missed out on and maybe five that I've stolen. The ratio is a little off, but maybe one of these days it will come back."

ERIC PHILLIPS , crew chief, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports

How was your team able to fix the damage on the race truck?

"They did an awesome job. He (Kyle Busch) got in the fence there, knocked the splitter down. They took a little extra time on that pit stop to get it fixed, but they did a really good job for what they had to work with there and got Kyle to where he could run up front there at the end. They've done a tremendous job all year and what is this six races now that these guys have been together, none of them had really ever worked together and they just get better and better every week when we go to the race track."

What happened with the loose lug nuts before the race?

"I don't have a good answer there. We're 99 percent sure they were tight. As loose as the wheel was, there was no way he (Kyle Busch) would have qualified. What happened? I don't know. We fixed it, addressed it and it didn't hinder us on what we did tonight so that's the important part. We'll just do a better job to make sure our guys are around our vehicles and keep an eye on things when they're sitting outside of the garage area."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Johnny Benson , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Joe Gibbs Racing , Kyle Busch Motorsports