Nashville: Winning team interview

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports Finishing Position: 1st How does it feel to get the first win for Kyle Busch Motorsports? "It feels pretty awesome. This is so cool - to win in your own stuff and to have...

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st

How does it feel to get the first win for Kyle Busch Motorsports?

"It feels pretty awesome. This is so cool - to win in your own stuff and to have these guys behind me that worked so hard. We've been working some long hours in the shop just getting this truck ready. Eric Phillips (crew chief) did an awesome job with this truck. He got a great Toyota Tundra for me. I have to thank Dollar General - what great supporters they are. It's a dream come true to come out here and own your own stuff, but to win in it, that's something special too. Of course thank Toyota, NOS Energy Drink, M&M's for being on the back panel, the fans of course."

Will the Gibson guitar trophy remain in one piece?

"It's in whole right now. I'm going to give it to Sam (Bass) and if he wants to, he can beat my truck up with it because of what I did here last fall. I don't think he'll take me up on it, but he can have at it if he wants because he said he wanted to drive it into a brick wall anyway."

What are your chances to win the Nationwide race tomorrow?

"I don't know, we'll see. Our Z-Line Camry wasn't great, but Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and those guys were working really hard all day. We were just trying to get the right feel and we never really could hit on it. Today, (Kevin) Harvick was coming there at the end. He probably had a little better truck than we did, we still have a little bit more homework to do. We got out front when it mattered, got the switches in the right places when it mattered and we were able to win this thing. Awesome pit stops all night, these guys woke up when they saw the driver was almost faster than they were in pit stop competition. They did a really good job tonight."

How big is this win for you?

"It's a big deal. It's always nice to win anytime you're in anybody's stuff, but especially your own. It just seems to set a lot better within yourself. This is a big deal that we've taken on this year with myself and Samantha (fiance) now being a part of that too. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears this winter put into this deal with a lot of people coming to get jobs at Kyle Busch Motorsports and 45 or 50 of them making the cut. We've had our share of guys that have worked really, really hard and I'm very proud of everybody and the way they've worked so far this year. We've had a busy off season, but we've been building some new trucks, some great trucks. Eric's (Phillips, crew chief) done a really nice job at putting the pieces all together, getting the race team built up. Rick Ren (Director of Competition) has done a fabulous job coming over here and building this start-up team from nothing and making it as competitive as it is right out of the gate. Everybody's had open minds and we've learned a lot together. Hopefully, we can learn a lot more. Tonight was very, very cool. In order to get our first win and solidify ourselves in the Camping World Truck Series for good. Have to thank Dollar General, without their support and without everything that they've done - it's pretty awesome to have them come on board as late as they did, but it's really neat. For some reason, I've been the only one that's been able to win for them. In the Nationwide Series I won for them in 2008 (Charlotte) and this was their first venture in the Truck Series and we won here tonight. Very pleased about all that. Can't say enough about the team and all the guys doing such a great job."

How did your truck handle through the race?

"We were just trying to fight balance. You try to get going and sometimes your air pressures are too low to get going fast and those guys would run me down for a few laps and then mine would pick back up. Then they must have cooled theirs and came back to me. (Kevin) Harvick was fast there at the end and I don't know how we held him off, but somehow we made it happen. He had a fast truck, (Ron) Hornaday had a fast truck, but we were right there with them tonight too. Again, the Dollar General Tundra was awesome and we can't wait to bring it back out here again in a couple weeks to Kansas for Brian (Ickler) and then Dover and Charlotte for myself."

Did you have any idea how many races it would take Kyle Busch Motorsports to get a win?

"You really never know how many races it will take until you get your win or your first win in the series being an owner. When I got in my truck at Daytona, I was like, man, this is almost weird, but it was a really, really cool feeling rolling out of pit road onto the race track at Daytona. Atlanta was really cool to qualify second and of course to run second to (Kevin) Harvick), he had a really strong truck there. Tonight, to run as well as we did here. Harvick was coming there at the end of the race, I was worried about him a little bit. He started running me down, almost got to me and almost passed me and if I didn't just stick there on the outside and try to work it out up there then he probably would have gotten by me and I probably wouldn't have been able to get back by him. We made it through that and drove away from him a little bit and then at the end of the race he kept creeping forward on me. I'm glad it was only 150 rather than 175 laps tonight, that's for sure."

Did you have any idea that your truck would be so dominant?

"You never know how good you're going to be or how you're going to do. Tonight was a very, very good night for us. Eric (Phillips, crew chief) did an awesome job with the truck to make it good. We didn't have a whole lot of changes to it during practice. We tried a couple different things just to see if we could learn something just to get ready for when Brian (Ickler) comes back here in August or whenever the trucks come back. From the get go, the truck was good, it was fast. We just tried to stay out in clean air and do what we could out there and not get bothered much by traffic. Timothy (Peters) ran a great race, he was really, really fast there on the long runs and I was surprised to see him go by. His truck was pretty good at that point."

Do you have a special place to hang this trophy?

"As soon as the 15 million dollar shop gets done, anytime. It would certainly be nice to get in there and build a nice trophy case for it. For the place we're at right now, it will do perfect so we'll hang it up in the shop somewhere and let all the guys enjoy it and look at it every day when they come up to work. They can see all the hard work that they've done has paid off in winning that guitar and of course, TDS, The Decal Source that does the decals for our trucks, they make a nice, cool banner and we'll hang that up in the shop too. The first win for KBM is a big one."

How different is this race track in the truck versus the Nationwide car?

"It's way different than the Nationwide car. I actually practiced the truck this morning and felt pretty good about things then went and got in the Nationwide car and was all over the place. I felt like I had never run here before. I learned some things tonight about the race track, about the tire - this is a different tire than we've run here in the past. That really helps me out just to get a better idea of what to expect for tomorrow. What to tell Jason Ratcliff, the crew chief over there on what adjustments we can make to the car for tomorrow and try to win another one and get the Z-Line Camry in victory lane. There's some differences, nothing huge."

ERIC PHILLIPS, crew chief, No. 18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports

What was the race like for you tonight?

"It was pretty uneventful for the most part. We had a pretty good truck when we unloaded today. Made a few changes this morning, but really didn't do a lot all day. A couple little air pressure adjustments, but just tried to keep the thing out front. The guys in the pits did a really good job. We've struggled with that a little bit being a new race team. Really proud of the guys as hard as they've worked on their pit stops these last few weeks."

What has Rick Ren brought to the team?

"Rick (Ren, Director of Competition) definitely brought a lot, he's won a lot of races in the series. The biggest thing, in my situation it helps because I have somebody to go to and throw ideas across. The situation I've been in the last couple years, nobody was there but me. With somebody like Rick standing down behind the pit box, like tonight, listening to Kyle's (Busch) comments, you can go down and ask Rick about it and what he thinks. Me and Rick really communicate well. I'm really excited about working with him this year and he really does bring a lot to the table."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Kyle Busch Motorsports