Bristol II: Winning team interview

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 1st How was your race tonight? "It was a pretty good race for us. We had trouble in practice trying to get the car exactly the way I wanted it. We were ...

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st

How was your race tonight?

"It was a pretty good race for us. We had trouble in practice trying to get the car exactly the way I wanted it. We were close, but Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) worked really hard with the guys to try and make sure that we had a winning car here tonight. We were swinging things at it all day. We came up with a good combination there for the race. It was a little too loose all night, but I kept trying to move my line around and try to find something that would work for me and I was able to do that a little bit. Had good pit stops and just being able to keep our track position all night really helped us so we didn't have to pass too much. Just getting up there at the end and being able to set sail when it mattered most and get to victory lane.

What happened with Brad Keselowski during the race?

"I raced and raced and raced him (Brad Keselowski) and I don't know for 12, 15 laps and my Z-Line Camry was pretty awesome tonight. The guys did a great job. It was loose, but it was good. I thought I had him cleared on the back and I moved up in front of him and instead of him doing an Earnhardt crossover move he decided that he would just run into the back of me and put me in the fence. So, that's Brad Keselowski. So, you know, I went down into the next corner and dumped him. He does it to everybody else. Why can't I do it to him? So, whatever. It don't matter. Jim and Monica (Sexton) are awesome. I can't thank Z-Line Designs enough. Toyota, NOS Energy Drink, Marquis Jets, Gillette and Nationwide Insurance for supporting the series. It's fun to come over here and race and I enjoy it, and of course it's cool to put this 18 car in victory lane."

How do continue to win races after having frustrating nights?

"You just keep working. Yeah, you can be frustrated all day long. You can be mad at yourself all day long, but you just keep digging, you keep your focus forward and you keep working as hard as you can, and that's all that I could do. I tried and tried and tried lap after lap to stay clean with Brad (Keselowski) and I finally had him almost cleared -- yeah I slid up in front of him -- that's a slide job and then he ran into the back of me and put me in the wall. So, I said forget it man, you play that game and I'll play it back. So, I dumped him."

Are you excited to tie your record for 10 Nationwide Series wins in a season?

"That's pretty cool. I forgot all about that. It didn't matter to me. What's more special is this car and this is (chassis) 61. This car has won now that a half-mile, a three-quarter mile, a mile, a mile and a third, mile and a half -- I don't think there are any mile and three quarters, but it's won at a two-mile race track as well. So, it's won everywhere. This baby, it's an awesome race car."

How good does it feel to win this race?

"It's pretty awesome -- to be with this race team. These guys will stick behind me through anything. So, do what you want. We were having fun and this Z-Line Designs Camry was awesome tonight. I can't thank the guys enough. Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and all of the guys here at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) that did a great job for me. It was fun. It was really, really loose tonight. I was barely hanging on, but we were able to prevail, get out front and win this thing."

How important is getting the 11th win and breaking the record for wins in a single season?

"It's pretty awesome. To me, it's cool to have the opportunity. We've got, I don't know, eight, nine, 10 more races left or whatever it is to get the opportunity to do it. Hopefully luck can fall our way and we can get number 11. Number 11 is going to be pretty special because for one, it's never been done before. For two, it brings one of our crew members that has never been to victory lane before to victory lane. I've mentioned it before, Leo Thorsen, the car chief on our car for some reason just doesn't like coming to victory lane, but I told him on win number 11 when I break the record for most wins and you're a part of it, I said, 'You're coming to victory lane and getting your picture taken and hanging it up on the wall for your kids to see he was a part of it.' Kevin Grubb, the engine tuner, he was with Sam (Ard) back when Sam won 10 so it's pretty cool to have him here now. Three seasons he's been able to do it."

What would it mean to win all three races at Bristol this weekend?

"I just hope that I have a good enough race car to do it. I feel like we worked really hard today -- Dave (Rogers) and myself. We didn't quite find the things that I wanted in the car, but we kind of heard over the radio a lot of people scanning that were saying the same things that I was. I couldn't quite get the car to react the way that I wanted it to from when I won here in the past, but hopefully that's just a tendency of this tire and everybody is kind of fighting that. It's going to be difficult, but coming down to decision time at the end of the race, if you've got an opportunity to do it and it's a once in a lifetime opportunity as we've seen. I haven't been able to get it done yet. I've been close a few times, but it seems like the last one is always the hardest one to get. You never know what happens. It's 500 laps of racing at Bristol under the lights so we could have something bad happen early on and be done right there. If we can get to the end of the race and have a shot, I wouldn't want anything other than that and to take that Doublemint Camry to victory lane would be pretty special. To do the triple here at Bristol, where no one has ever done it ever in NASCAR I think would be cool too."

JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What are some of the things you encountered on pit road tonight?

"We spent a lot of time adjusting on this car today in practice and threw a lot of things at it. These guys worked their tales off. Never really could find what we needed to get the car right and made a few changes before the race and we jumped the fence obviously a little bit. Got it a little too free. First pit stop, tightened it up a little bit and it looked like it was exactly what we needed. The car just seemed to get better, the lap times got better the longer you went and then in the last pit stop, made no adjustments. Just put a set of tires on it and I don't know if it was track conditions or just that set of tires, but that thing got free again. Thankfully, it was a long run. I was hoping that typically when you have cautions here and the tires cycle every time you restart the car is a little bit tighter so I was hoping for a few cautions there to see if the cycles would tighten the car up and it worked out. Kyle (Busch) did a great job, obviously. This place -- you've got to be fast, but you've got to come through lapped traffic here. I was amazed at how he came through lapped traffic tonight. The win was neat, but to watch him come through five, six cars it's just incredible. Great job by him and great job by these guys and to finally get a win here at Bristol -- this place, I'm not going to say it has haunted us -- but we just haven't been able to close the deal here. We've had some really good cars in the past and to finally get that is great, and for it to be the 10th one of the season is even more special."

-source: toyota motosports

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About this article
Drivers Kevin Grubb , Brad Keselowski
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing