Loudon: Winning team interview

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position: 1st How was your race car today? "It was a good car. These guys did a great job for me. I can't thank Z-Line Designs, Jim and Monica Sexton (Z-Line Designs ...

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

How was your race car today?

"It was a good car. These guys did a great job for me. I can't thank Z-Line Designs, Jim and Monica Sexton (Z-Line Designs owners) enough. It's fun to race out here with these guys and to race in the Nationwide Series. I knew Joey (Logano) was really good. I felt like our car was better on the long, long run. Halfway on a fuel run to the end of that, we didn't quite have that at the end. What a great race and it's a lot of fun with these cars. Can't wait to keep racing these things."

What does it mean to break the record of all-time laps led?

"That's pretty cool and it comes after beating one of the best - Mark Martin. There's one more record I'm after and that's the win record to try to beat him and see how many I can set. It's a testament to this team, Joe Gibbs Racing, Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) and all the guys that do such a great job for me. I can't thank them enough. All the fans - it's awesome to be able to put on a show like that in front of them and come out here. I hope nothing better than to keep racing these things, unfortunately, sometimes I have to race on the Sprint Cup side on a non-companion races, but it's fun anytime I can get back behind the wheel of these things. I really enjoy it and hopefully we can get another one next weekend in Daytona with the new one."

How was your race overall today?

"It was a really good day for us and Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) and the guys gave me a really great car. It was fun. We knew it was going to be a challenge there. We had some guys that were really fast in the beginning and laid down some quick qualifying laps. I wasn't sure how it was going to play out. We got up towards the front there on one of those long runs and really pulled away after about 40 or 50 laps. Had a really good green flag pit stop. Got in and the guys did a good job on pit road for me and got out with an even bigger lead. Good job to those guys. Once we had that last restart there, I was uncertain if Joey (Logano) was going to be able to get me or not. I knew if I could get a good restart that I would have the possibility of going into turn one picking my lane, being by myself. I was able to do that, but unfortunately Joey lost a few spots in the process with spinning his tires I guess. For us, it was a good day. We were able to keep it up front there at the end where track position mattered most and drive away from those guys a little bit. Brad (Keselowski) was decent, he was staying with us. It's pretty hard to pass at this place so it would have been tough for him to get around."

How was lapped traffic during the race?

"It wasn't terrible, it was a little bit tough, but the biggest thing that it was and probably most noticeable was how much it slowed us down. How much it slowed cars down when they had to pass slower cars. This race track just gets so finicky sometimes that guys are running their line and you have to find a way around them either when you go high or when you go low. When you deviate from what you've been doing all day, it makes it tougher to try to run a fast lap time so you slow down a little bit so it gives the guys behind you a chance to close the gap. It's hard to pull back away from those guys if they don't get boxed down as much as you do in traffic. It was fun though, a couple times we made it three-wide, went through the middle, we around the outside of them and kind of had to pick and choose your battles and which way to go around them when they were racing each other."

How does it feel to be the first repeat winner in the Nationwide Series at New Hampshire?

"Earlier this week, a couple of the guys sent me text messages excited about me getting back in the car. I've been away from three weeks and Brad (Coleman) did a nice job keeping us within reach of the owner's championship. They were excited about me getting back in it and coming to Loudon (N.H.) and I send a text back to a couple of them and were like, 'Yeah, we're coming back to become the first two-time winner.' I'm proud of the fact that we made it happen and we had everything go right for us today, it was good. Hopefully tomorrow can be just as good and maybe next week we can be the first winner in the new car in the Nationwide Series."

What did you think when Joey Logano spun the tires on the final restart?

"I noticed it and I wasn't pleased with it because I felt like if (Joey) Logano got a good start that he could really race those guys behind me and be side-by-side with them for a few corners that I could get away further than what I did. Brad (Keselowski) got clear of Logano really quick and was on my bumper going into turn three. I saw that he got a slow start and I was like, 'Man, I wish I didn't get as good of a start so he could have been a little bit along side of me.' I felt like I was good enough that I could power around the outside of him, but I just wanted to get to see those guys get to racing. It all worked out. We could have had a one-two today. It's unfortunate that he spun his tires there, I'm sure he's upset. He ran a good race today. He was closing on me a couple times, but we were able to keep it out front."

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

Did you think the car would be as strong as it was in the race?

"We left here yesterday and the 33 (Kevin Harvick) in practice was the class of the field. We knew that if something happened then yes, we could be there and take the opportunity, but we just wanted to get our car close. We knew that Kyle (Busch), if we could get him to the front and keep him up front that he could do what it takes to win the race. We had a good day on pit road and the car would just get better with laps. Those other guys seem to fade after about 40 laps and we really seemed to take off. I knew at the end and typical Loudon (N.H.), at the end tires, not that they're not important, but track position ultimately is what will bring home the win. We had it at the end and the rain held off. Another good day for us."

How do you feel about your chances for the owner's championship? "Brad (Coleman) did a nice job for us the last three weeks. A couple races there, if we don't get caught up in somebody else's mess, he gets three top-fives so he did a great job for us, kept us close in the points and that's what we need to do. We know that every time Kyle (Busch) is in the car that we will have the opportunity to win races and now after the last three weeks, every time that Brad is in the car, we expect to finish in the top-five and hopefully give him a shot to get his first win in the Nationwide Series. I think if we hang in there, at the end we can do it. We've had a couple bad races this year and a couple DNFs, (Brad) Keselowski hasn't had that yet and he's going to. Everybody gets at least one. So if we can keep it close, when he does have it, we'll be right there."

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano , Mark Martin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing