KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 2nd Did Kevin Harvick have so much or were you off a bit tonight? "I'm not sure. We were really on last year here. Man, the NOS Energy Drink Camry was good...
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
Did Kevin Harvick have so much or were you off a bit tonight?
"I'm not sure. We were really on last year here. Man, the NOS Energy Drink Camry was good -- I mean, it was really good. But, (Kevin) Harvick was gone. It was just -- what a non-race that was. Hopefully, it was a show there at the end. We were running down Jr. (Dale Earnhardt) trying to get past him and he gave us both room. I could run the 33 (Kevin Harvick) down or beat the 33 (Kevin Harvick) for 15 to 18 laps -- after that I just didn't have anything for him. Those guys were so good on the long run. He just had it over us. We tried to short pit him. That only worked until they saw us come down pit road and then they came the next lap. It didn't quite work out great. I don't think we really missed anything. We were ahead of third by a mile. Man, the 33 (Kevin Harvick) was just great -- flawless."
Did you have a chance late in the race to close the gap with Kevin Harvick?
"Getting into (turn) three there coming to the white (flag) I was passing Jr. (Dale Earnhardt) and I just got in there way too hard and slid up the track and I didn't hook the bottom like I needed to and I lost two car lengths instead of gaining two car lengths. If I could have gained two car lengths down there -- two down there and two more down there -- I would have been right on his bumper coming to the checkered. Unfortunately, I lost those two and could never gain anything back."
Are you satisfied with second-place tonight?
"For sure, with that 33 car (Kevin Harvick) the way it was. Man, that thing was fast. Just unbelievable, the 33 car was tonight. That's all we had. We had a second-place car today. We worked awfully hard on it in practice, trying to make it better. We worked on it every pit stop there tonight. We had a good short run car. We had them beat for about 15 to 18 laps and then he'd get by us and beat us in the long run. I'll tell you what -- the NOS Energy Drink guys did a great job today."
Why do you think Kevin Harvick was so fast tonight?
"I don't know, to be honest with you. He was just really, really good. It was the same thing that I've battled with him in the truck races here. Earlier this year, he was so good on the long run. I could beat him for eight to 15 laps in the truck and he would just be gone. I don't know what they have that they've got that makes them so good. If it's just a set of shocks or what. I can't imagine there's that much specialness to a set of shocks. They were fast, so he deserved to win the truck races here a couple times that I've actually stolen from him. He was really fast tonight unfortunately. I was trying to get there to steal another from him but couldn't quite make it."
Did you lose speed or did Kevin Harvick gain speed for him to catch you?
"I would lose speed. His car would stay a little bit more consistent through the run than mine would. Mine, it just felt like it lost grip at lap 18 or 20, whatever it was on a tire run. Whenever we would come in and put tires on it, about 18 laps later mine would just lose grip. So I don't know if our air pressures were too high, or maybe we could've started them a little bit lower. I doubt it with the right-front minimum the way it is. That was just all we had. I had nine laps of fresh tires to try to catch him, and I gained on him a lot. He was a straightaway ahead of me before we pitted. And we ended the race, I might've been eight or 10 car lengths off of him. I just couldn't quite get there."
How was your race this evening?
"Our NOS Energy drink Camry just didn't have anything for (Kevin) Harvick and the 33 guys. They did their work today, for sure. They were really, really good. Unfortunately, all I needed was a Nationwide win here to continue my sweep of race tracks and I still haven't gotten it. We'll have to keep continuing on with that. Unfortunately there, we were just short at the end. We just didn't have enough. We tried to short pit and gain some track position on them, but as soon as they see us come down -- they come down, too. So, you don't gain a whole lot."
How did the race cars handle tonight?
"They were definitely evil. The cars were really hard to drive. I can't imagine what it felt like for some of the guys that were slower. We ran second and mine was hard to drive. You just had to hit a particular lane. You just couldn't search around. I had to run the bottom. That's all I could run. (Kevin) Harvick did the same thing. We were both kind of stuck at the bottom. Our cars drove better than the rest of them, that's for sure, tonight."
-credit: toyota motorsports