NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Tums Fast Relief 500
Topics: Tums Fast Relief 500
October 28, 2012
THE MODERATOR: Let's roll into our post‑race press conference. We are joined by our race runner‑up, Kyle Busch.
Kyle, talk about your run out there today. So close and yet I know you got to be disappointed you didn't get the W.
KYLE BUSCH: So close, yet so far away it seems like here at Martinsville time and time again. Struggled early, got behind. Spun out there, was able to work on it, get ourselves a pretty decent car. Probably a third‑ or fourth‑place car. I think we were able to come home second there.
Can't say enough about the effort, the guys did a good job. Denny had issues. I hate it for them and those guys. They deserve it. I'm sure it's not good on the points front.
We worked as hard as we could and we had an angel riding with us today and weren't able to capitalize for Raine (Angelley) and his family, the loss they had earlier this week. Raine was a kid Samantha and I took under our wings about a year ago, kidney issues, liver issues, passed away this week. It's heavy hearts for all of us. Wish we could have won him one.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions now for Kyle Busch.
Q. Did the conditions change with the temperatures cooling this afternoon as far as affecting your car handling, overall performance?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, it did. We fought earlier in the race. It was kind of hot, a little bit slick, the rubber was being put down. We were sliding on the surface a little bit more than we wanted to. There late in the going, last 100, 150 laps, it cooled off. The track was faster.
You just had to know you could pick up a little bit of speed and hustle the car a little bit more yet still get yourself in trouble with overheating the brakes and everything else. You had to be on top of all that, doing a good job.
I felt like I could run with those guys for the first few laps, then fall away, let them go, keep my stuff cool in case it did turn into a long run, that I could come up there in the long haul and pressure them there at the end.
Q. Kyle, it looked like on the white flag lap going into one you got about as close to Jimmie's bumper as you could. Was that your last attempt to get close and did you have anything going for him into three?
KYLE BUSCH: No. Jimmie did a good job. He's a five‑time champion, six‑time champion, probably six, for a reason.
I was getting into one, got to his rear bumper. Didn't want to move him out of the way. He slowed the corner down, protected the bottom. When I went back to the gas, I spun my tires and got loose, he squirted away from me. No chance of getting back to him in three and four.
He manipulated my car the way he needed to to protect himself for the last corner down there in three and four.
THE MODERATOR: Kyle, thank you very much. Sorry for your loss this week. See you in Texas.
KYLE BUSCH: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: Joining us now is our third‑place finisher, Kasey Kahne. Kasey is now in fourth place in the points.
Kasey, take us through your race this afternoon.
KASEY KAHNE: Well, we started off 15th and were able to slowly move up throughout. Felt like I had a great car. I think all the Hendrick cars were really good, they always are at Martinsville. Jimmie and the 48 guys pulled it off.
I got really loose there the second‑to‑the‑last run and fell back to eighth, then we were able to make the right adjustments, right tires, had good restarts there at the end. Lucky to start on the inside, I guess, get a few cars. I ended up third.
Pretty happy with that. We gained one point in the Chase, so that's good. We've gained one or two points a week for the last few weeks. We'll be there in like a year, I guess (laughter).
But still, we've been running well. Felt good to have a good run at Martinsville. It's a tough track for me. Has been since I came into the Sprint Cup Series. Definitely felt good to run pretty well today.
I was thinking after the race, we were making adjustments. Kenny Francis, we make a small adjustment this way, I'm too tight, make it this way, I'm too loose. The windows are so small that I have at this track.
You look at the 48, you watch how Jimmie drives this place, Jeff Gordon, their window is so much bigger. It's trying to figure out how to get where they're at with your feet, the braking, the throttle, things like that. We'll keep working on that.
Two of the best guys to learn from and hopefully we can keep getting better at this track.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Kasey Kahne.
Q. Kasey, can you consider yourself a contender even with three weeks to go?
KASEY KAHNE: We gained a point. If we weren't this week, then we probably aren't next week. I don't know.
I still feel like I have a chance because of the way the points are. You can have a bad race. Denny lost tons of points today just by things that happen in racing. It's part of the sport.
So, yes, we definitely still have a shot. But we're a ways out. I wish we were within 20 or 15. I think we'd be a lot more legit at that point.
Q. Can you talk about what kind of examples Jeff and Jimmie have been to you this year and at this track.
KASEY KAHNE: This year they've been great. Been nice to sit in every debrief before the race, after the race, practice, the weekly ones, just listen to those guys. Pick up on little things here and there, just try to get better. Two of the best guys I can learn from. That's been good.
As far as Martinsville, I haven't learned a lot from them. They haven't told me any of their secrets. I get to drive really good cars here, the same stuff that they're in. That helps. It's nice to be at Hendrick Motorsports and have a shot when we come to this track. It's really good.
Q. As always is the case, this is a successful year for Hendrick Motorsports, but a weird year. Didn't win any of the first 10 races, won seven of the next 11, then didn't win 11 in a row, and then won today. Is that all coincidence?
KASEY KAHNE: I would say it is. I think all four cars have been really fast throughout the entire season. So close to win that 200th win until Jimmie won it at Darlington. I think there were six, seven, eight second places in a row in the last 11, 12 races where none of us won a race for HMS.
I feel like we're there each week between one of the four cars, or all four cars. It could very well win the next three. It's great to be part of Hendrick Motorsports.
Q. Kasey, we can't assume anything about Jimmie, but how much value would it be for you to watch him go through a whole year, championship‑type year, watch what he does?
KASEY KAHNE: Well, how many has he got? Five? I've been racing with him for five, so I've watched some of those as closely as I can from being part of another company and racing for some of the other teams that I have. So I've watched that. I've got beaten by him plenty of times over the years.
This year being his teammate, watching how good the guy is, how good his team is, how good they work together at every track, kind of diagnose the car, the track, get that balance that he needs, then he takes it from there.
So it's nice. It's impressive what they do. I'm glad to be part of it. Even though he beats me more times than not, I'm still trying to learn, listen, be part of it. Hopefully at some point we can catch up to him a little bit.
THE MODERATOR: Kasey, thanks for coming in. Good luck at Texas.
KASEY KAHNE: Thank you.
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