Texas II: Winning team interview

KYLE BUSCH , No. 18 Farm Bureau Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finished: 1st Can you talk about your run today? "It was a strong car all day and it kind of set the tone. We had a good race car yesterday when we were practicing it. It ...

KYLE BUSCH , No. 18 Farm Bureau Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finished: 1st

Can you talk about your run today?

"It was a strong car all day and it kind of set the tone. We had a good race car yesterday when we were practicing it. It felt good, it had speed but the balance wasn't quite there so we were working on it. Joel (Weidman, crew chief) did some good calls in practice trying to get it right and we made it to where it was really good today off the bat. It sort of got loose a little bit through the race and tightened it up some with some adjustments there. Fortunately for us we were up front all day and didn't have to mire through much traffic but I still feel like our car was good enough to do so. (Jeff) Dickerson (spotter) made a good call and that slow car that brought out that caution that caught (Kevin) Harvick in the pits, he saved us there. Luckily we had enough gas to make it back to pit road. That was our saving grace and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. The two tires on the last stop was my call, Joel wanted four and by being a rookie crew chief I had to over step him one time here, go me, that's the first time I've won myself one. I'm proud of myself for that. Joel did a great job believing in me with that and bumping up the air pressures there to go at it at the end of the race. Luckily we hung on for enough there and beat out Carl."

What does this win mean to you?

"It means a whole lot. Sam Ard is one of the pioneers of this deal and to be tied with him at 10 wins is something that's pretty spectacular and really, really special to me. He's in Florence, South Carolina with his wife Jo with Alzheimer's and I just want to say 'hey' to him. I told myself during this race that I knew he had health issues and stuff like that and I'm going to go ahead and give him 100,000 dollars and I'm going to try to help him out and see what I can do. It's not much but it's something that can try to help cure him and everything he's going through. I've got to thank Farm Bureau Insurance and Toyota and all of these guys and the fans for coming out. These guys are just awesome man, I don't know what else to say. It's been a dream year and Joel Weidman (crew chief) who come on board has done a phenomenal job and Jason (Ratcliff) back at home gives us a great race car every week."

Was Carl Edwards gaining on you down the stretch or were you just pacing yourself?

"No, that was it. That was all she wrote, man. My tongue is hanging out. Last night it was my trucks tongue who was hanging out and tonight it's mine. Phenomenal race car. Great job by all these guys on this Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota. It was just great all day. We had a stretch there where we got a little bit loose, made some adjustments on it and got it back to where it was handling really well. (Kevin) Harvick there, he had a really good car and unfortunately he had his pit stop deal and Carl (Edwards) of course, he had a great car too, but had tires there at the end. Caught up to us a little bit but man, fortunately for us we were able to hang on there. This is a record-setting day for myself and Sam Ard.

Have you ever met Sam Ard?

"He came to a race -- I think it was maybe Homestead. (NASCAR) had some champions there of the past years there and when Sam was there I shook his hand and said hello to him and what he means to this sport. That was about the only time I've had to interact with him. I know his record of 10 wins and I know what he's done for the sport, I know what all that is and how he's built the Nationwide Series. His name is one of the lead names you look at along with (Tommy) Houston, (Mark) Martin and (Tommy) Ellis and all those guys. It's a pretty cool list of names to look at and see who's built this series."

When is the success you had this year going to sink in to you?

"Probably during the off-season. We'll just look back on this season and say, 'Man, that was pretty phenomenal.' I don't know if I could ever do it again but to be accustomed to winning this year hasn't really sunk in yet like you said. It will as soon as the years come about where I'm only winning once or twice or sometimes maybe none."

Do any of the records your matching and passing throughout NASCAR impress you?

"The year's not over yet, so once the checkered flag falls in the Cup race at Homestead than it'll be time to reflect and look back on it all and be like 'wow, that's pretty cool.' I don't even know all the numbers to tell you the truth. All I know is the wins, the 10 here in the Nationwide Series and the 21 overall. It's just phenomenal the way this year's gone. A lot of that success of course is right down to Joe Gibbs Racing and all these guys putting their hearts and everything into the organization with the Nationwide stuff and (with) the Cup stuff, hopefully we're trying to turn that stuff around too and get back heading in the right direction. With the 300 of 400 laps led (at Texas), I didn't know that. That's something that's pretty cool. This has been one of my worst tracks until recent years. Now it's probably one of my best tracks along with Charlotte. It's been a lot of fun this year. This is my second sweep of the year at a race track, my first one coming at Lowe's Motor Speedway and second ever. This is my first year of being able to do that. It's pretty special times for us so we'll have to cherish it while we're having it and hopefully it'll continue somewhat next year, too."

Do you have a goal of wins for the entire season combined?

"The number? I would have like to have seen 25, but I might have to shy off that a little bit. We're trying to get as many as we can. It doesn't matter from here on out. There's still three more Cup races, two more trucks and two more Nationwide, so that's (seven) more opportunities to get 'em. If we happen to win one more, two more, three more it don't matter what it is it's just we're trying to get it all."

JOEL WEIDMAN , Crew Chief, No. 18 Farm Bureau Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

What was the race like from your perspective on top of the pit box?

"We brought the car that's won the past two races for us. We know it's a good car and we know Kyle (Busch) can win here. We put the set-up in from the spring and struggled a little bit in practice but felt like we found some stuff there and on load it real fast. We were good through the race. Like Kyle said, once we got the track position it was our race to lose. I tried not to screw it up and thankfully I have Kyle Busch as a driver telling me what to do. It helped out a lot."

J.D. GIBBS , President, No. 18 Farm Bureau Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Can you talk about the success at JGR having 19 NNS wins in 2008 and sweeping both Texas NNS races?

"It's just a blessing. We appreciate the Nationwide Series so much. We've been in it for a long time now and have worked and worked but never really seen the fruit of it until really this year. I think it's been encouraging for all our guys, they work so hard behind the scenes. I think it's great to have Kyle (Busch) on board with what he's done this year and then Tony (Stewart), Denny (Hamlin) and Joey (Logano), matching all those guys up – all the way around I think it's been a great year for us and we appreciate the support of Nationwide. For us, it's a great learning gr ound for all the young guys that come in."

JOE GIBBS , Owner, No. 18 Farm Bureau Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Can you talk about the success at JGR having 19 NNS wins in 2008 and sweeping both Texas NNS races?

"I think the other thing for us is our sponsors. Farm Bureau had a huge hospitality here. They're fairly new with us. That was extremely exciting, getting them in Winner's Circle. GameStop is from right here, we ran top-five with them. That's really important for us because as we all know the sponsorships is kind of what makes us tick. Norm (Miller) is here with Interstate (Batteries), he was kind of along for the ride. That was a big thrill for us. We've worked so hard on Nationwide – we've been at this thing forever. It was almost like we couldn't win a race and now everything has kind of gone right for us. To be quite truthful, I was second guessing you, too, Kyle. I did not want to stop at all." "We're excited about going forward with Toyota our first year. Hopefully we're going to continue, I feel like we have a great partnership there and it's going to continue to improve."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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Drivers Carl Edwards , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing