Charlotte II: Race winner interview

KYLE BUSCH , No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 1st What does it feel like to get back to victory lane? "It's been a holding pattern, but great job by this whole NOS Energy Drink, Z-Line Designs team. ...

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

What does it feel like to get back to victory lane?

"It's been a holding pattern, but great job by this whole NOS Energy Drink, Z-Line Designs team. This thing was on a rail tonight -- that's a great race car. Thank Toyota, Marquis Jets, Gillette, the fans -- it's awesome to come out here on such a cold night and have this many people in the stands so I appreciate their support. I'm sorry to my guys about last week, you know, having to get out there. Denny (Hamlin) was doing an awesome job and unfortunately got caught up in a mess that I don't think anybody could have gotten out of so he did a whale of a job driving for us. We had some points to make up and hopefully made some up tonight."

Was your car on rails tonight?

"It was a freight train for sure. There wasn't much that was going to stop this Z-Line Camry tonight. It was really, really good. Just a phenomenal race car, it was a great job by this whole team. We worked on it in practice trying to make it better. We quit early because I got it where I wanted it and I just knew that if everything just fell into place then we'd be all right."

Are you thinking about the championship yet?

"There's still a few to go. Carl's (Edwards) best track comes up next week. He's won the last two or three there. It's not over, it's definitely any man's race right now as far as Carl (Edwards) or myself or even the 88 (Brad Keselowski). Unfortunately, there last week, I have to apologize to my fans and all these guys -- I had to step out. I didn't feel good and unfortunately Denny (Hamlin) got caught up in a mess I don't know if any of us could have gotten out of. He did a great job driving for us. He could have won the race and almost won the race for us, but unfortunately we lost some points. Hopefully we gained some back tonight and we can go on into next week and keep gaining."

How sick were you last weekend?

"The sickness I had started on Sunday after Kansas and it felt like a cold was coming on and then I got a really, really bad fever and got cold chills and everything. I had a hard time sleeping all week because of the cold chills and stuff. I don't know if it was Swine Flu, I don't know if it was H1N1, I don't know what it was -- it was the flu. Then it started to subside about Thursday or Friday and then Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night I had chills again and a fever. I went to the doctor on Monday, which was pneumonia so I went from the flu to pneumonia and now I'm just getting over the final cases of pneumonia with some antibiotics and stuff like that. I got plenty of rest this week, I didn't go anywhere, I didn't leave my house except to the doctor Monday. I didn't leave Tuesday or Wednesday."

Was there more motivation to win tonight after having to get out of the car last week?

"I don't think there was anymore motivation, this is just a great race track for me and I love this place. It's been really good for me in the past and this is my fifth Nationwide win here. I can't get the gold trophy, I've been trying for the Cup side for a while. Trucks I'm really good here too, it's just one of my favorite race tracks. I was excited about coming here, I knew this was a great track for me that I felt like we could get another win at. I felt the same way at Kansas and Chicago and a couple others that we've missed on because Joey (Logano) has been really, really good and he's been coming on and being really fast. Next week we go to Carl's (Edwards), one of his best tracks, which is Memphis. I haven't been there in a while so we'll see how it goes. I think we'll be all right. On through the rest of the year there are still some good tracks. Texas, Phoenix and Homestead to name the last three that are really good for us too."

Do you feel like you were that much stronger than anyone else tonight?

"I feel like some of my best competition fell away. I don't know what happened to the 16 (Matt Kenseth), he was strong there in the beginning and he led the first 20 or 30 laps. He was fast. Kasey Kahne, I kept seeing his number up on the board there. (Ryan) Newman came on late and the 11 (Mike Bliss) was really good. He probably had a car that could have run with us there at the end of the race, but we got out far enough ahead where it was going to be a while before he could run us back down. I felt good about our car, I felt like we were in another zip code tonight and it was going to take some big changes on some guys part to get up there and battle with us. We've seen the same thing the past few weeks where we've had the best car by a mile in the beginning and middle and stages of the race and all of the sudden here comes Joey Logano with Dave Rogers (crew chief) adjusting on his car like a wholesale man and getting the thing to where it will keep up at the end of the race and ultimately beat us."

Are the cooler temperatures helping you get through this weekend at all?

"Yes and no. I didn't turn on my helmet cooler at all tonight because it was just too cold out. I brought my cold weather stuff out -- I was wearing a beanie earlier because I don't want to shock my immune system now to the cold from where we were out in California with some of the heat. I think everything is okay now, hopefully it will just keep passing on and I will be 100 percent next week."

Was this a 'statement' race for you in the championship battle?

"It's another race. We have to go through these final races. I feel like here, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead are tracks I can win at. We're going to Memphis next week, which is a track Carl (Edwards) can win at. We know we need to keep up to our best game and do what we need to do in order to put this championship away. I would love to have done what Kevin Harvick did a couple years ago. I think the championship was over here at this race, he just started this race and he was done. I wish that was the scenario that we were in. We've got a couple more weeks that we can gain some good points and hopefully put it away at Phoenix. That's our goal is to have it done by then so we can go to Homestead and have a good time down there and have a celebrity pit crew and let Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) drive the car maybe. We were going to take (Jeff) Dickerson (spotter) off and make him the jack man. If you know (Jeff) Dickerson is five-foot-nothing so we were going to have some good excitement down in Homestead. Hopefully we can have it done and locked up after Phoenix."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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Drivers Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Kasey Kahne , Mike Bliss , Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing