Charlotte: Race winner interview

KYLE BUSCH , No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing Finished: 1st What was it like to beat your Cup team tonight? "I said before the race that hopefully we could bring this Dollar General Toyota home in first, and the Joe Gibbs...

KYLE BUSCH , No. 32 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Braun Racing
Finished: 1st

What was it like to beat your Cup team tonight?

"I said before the race that hopefully we could bring this Dollar General Toyota home in first, and the Joe Gibbs Toyota could be second. And fortunately, tonight it worked out that way. What an awesome race car. It didn't start out that great -- we really had to work on it. Todd Lohse (crew chief) and the guys made a lot of adjustments tonight and we got it going to where it was a lot better."

How worried were you about running out of gas at the end?

"Whatever they're putting in this thing, whether it's NOS Energy Drink or Sunoco, what ever it is it certainly had enough in it to make it there towards the end of the race. I was concerned a little bit, but every caution we had there I was fortunate because I could shut the motor off and make a whole lap around under caution without the motor running. That gained us about two laps right there every time the caution came out. Then I just rode around in fourth gear chugging along behind the pace truck. Fortunately for us, we were able to make it with some burnouts."

How many adjustments did the team have to make to get the car right?

"We were able to get the car where we could run with the rest of those guys -- we were still a little too tight, tighter than we wanted to be. But, it was a good enough car for us there. We made a good enough pit strategy to come get gas when we did, and we were able to stay up front there and keep our track position at the end of the race and beat the rest of those guys out. To bring Toyota to victory lane again, and Dollar General for their first time in the Nationwide Series, is pretty neat."

Were you worried about Denny Hamlin at the end?

"I was definitely worried about it -- I've driven those JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars before and I know how fast they are. He just didn't quite have the car tonight that we did. Plus, we had track position over him. Fortunately he raced us clean there and we were able to come out on top. I was going to run the top side there if I needed to -- I had a couple more tenths left in the car which probably could have beat those guys out."

What's it like not to be the center of attention when you win a race?

"It's pretty good. I'm happy about that and it's probably the biggest reason I'm smiling here tonight. It was a good, clean run for us tonight. We got back in traffic a couple times and didn't know how good our car was going to be, but we were able to make some moves on the top side and get through traffic. We never got into anybody, we never ruffled any feathers or nothing. Went to the bottom and made some moves there too and just got up to the front when it counted most there when those guys pitted for fuel that last time. We had already come in a little earlier and we decided that we were going to gamble and stretch it a little, which ended up paying off for us."

How confident were you that you had enough fuel and tires to make it to the end?

"I knew the tires were probably going to be a little quicker for a few laps and eventually the would equal out. With the way that the aero dependency is here, for some reason when you get out front clean air is always better. For us to have the track position over tires and fuel again when those guys came down. We just knew that if we came down with those guys that we were probably going to finish about sixth, eighth, somewhere in there. Taking the gamble and getting out front with clean air, we knew that we could probably either win the thing or fade to third or fourth. We knew that either way staying out would be the best scenario for us."

Can you talk about how you go to different teams and series and are still successful?

"I'm fortunate that it's happening this year. Obviously it's a really good year for me. It just comes down to communication with the crew chief. We came down here and tested for a day with the 32 team for the test and some of it was an engine test and some of it was a chassis test. We got the car handling to where I felt like we were pretty good. I didn't feel like we could gain much more on it -- it was driving really well. I think Brian (Vickers) came back for a second day and he tested the 10 car for us and he learned a couple more things so they incorporated a couple things they learned and put them in my car for when we came back. With myself and Todd (Lohse, crew chief) working on the thing Thursday, we really didn't change anything. In the final practice we went through a couple sway bars and a couple springs and this and that just to see what the thing would do and we ended up going almost back to where we unloaded. Just a pretty good race car from where we started."

Does it feel weird to end a streak that your primary team has put together?

"That JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) team has been pretty stout this year and I've been fortunate enough to drive their cars a couple times and it's really been nice to see how fast those things are. But we had our Braun Racing car pretty fast tonight too. It sucked that we brought the streak to an end, but I'm glad that at least it's a JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) driver streak so we can always say that for the next few weeks if I can win or if Joey (Logano) can win in his first outing at Dover so that would be pretty special. We'll see how it goes and hopefully Toyota can keep their run going in the Nationwide Series."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Drivers Denny Hamlin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing