NASCAR Media Conference
June 4, 2008
DENISE MALOOF: Thank you to those of media who have joined us today on short notice to talk to Kyle Busch.
KYLE BUSCH: Thank you. Good to be here.
DENISE MALOOF: Glad to have you.
Kyle is on a limited schedule today time-wise so we're going to get right to it. We'll open it up right away for questions for Kyle.
Q. Could you talk about this next weekend and how the travel is being done, private jet, how your nutrition is being done. Walk us through this weekend, this historic weekend, for you.
KYLE BUSCH: Well, we start off by trying to go to El Dora today. Heard there's some weather issues up there. Not quite sure about there. From there, we go straight to Hackettstown, New Jersey, for an M&M appearance on Thursday. From that we go to Pocono Thursday afternoon-ish, rest up that night and get ready for Friday.
Friday we're going to have all on-track activity stuff with the Cup Series, Pocono. As soon as we're done qualifying, get a helicopter, helicopter from Pocono Raceway to the airport, fly from that airport over to Alliance in Dallas/Fort Worth, right there next to the racetrack. We'll drive over with a police escort and run a truck race. Police escort out back to the airport, fly back to Pocono. Then drive from the airport, which is about a 40-minute drive from the airport to the racetrack. Sleep there until practice stuff starts on Saturday morning. Do all that stuff. As soon as it's over, helicopter out of the racetrack to the airport.
Then we're going to go to Nashville, run the Nationwide race. I don't know whether we get a helicopter from the airport to the racetrack there or whether we're driving. Then after the race back, I don't know what's going on there yet. We fly back to Pocono, of course, get ready for Sunday's race.
So all the nutrition stuff, that's kind of going to be -- I guess the flights, first of all, they're all Marquis Jet flights. We got a private plane lined up with them. Then we've also got some nutrition stuff, basically going to be like some sandwiches and stuff on the plane. Besides that, we've got MMI, Magic Mike, who cooks and stuff like that for us. He'll be in Pocono. So he'll have some stuff we can take with us.
Q. Carl Edwards was on yesterday. Someone asked him about this busy weekend for you. For him, he said it was a fun thing for him. He's a racecar driver; that's what he loves to do. Wasn't a big deal if he would have had to do all that traveling. That is how you look at it? You're a racecar driver, this is what you enjoy, having to do all this traveling isn't that big after deal for you?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, pretty much. The biggest thing is you want to go out there and race. When we're sitting there in the motorhome watching the truck race Friday night wondering why we're not there, you know, you have two things going through your mind: why aren't we going there, and I'm kind of glad I'm sitting here not doing anything.
When you're a racer, you want to be that guy that's there. We're going to help support Billy Blue, his quest for a championship in the Craftsman Truck Series. He's been around for a few years, never had the opportunity to go after something like this. We're going to do what we can for him.
Q. What concerns, if any, do you have on your own stamina for this? It's not just three races, but it's three different races and a lot of travel things as you just described.
KYLE BUSCH: I don't think that I've got any stamina worries or anything like that. I think all that will play out. It will be fine.
The only thing that I do worry, we have a TV crew and stuff like that going with us. They're wanting to film what goes on on the plane, off the plane, this and that and everywhere. That's kind of going to be probably the most draining thing, is just toting them around with us.
Shouldn't be that big a deal. I'd like to sleep on the plane. But I guess they've got questions they want to ask me on the plane that will take a little bit of time. Other than that, normally I'm pretty good at sleeping on planes. I look forward to getting a couple naps on there back and forth.
Q. You're coming out here to California in a few weeks, Infineon. Anything about the road course you particularly look forward to? Do you train any differently for the road course? What's your attitude towards Sonoma?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, I look forward to going out there. I like road racing. As a matter of fact, we just tested yesterday a road course car. Took it to Virginia International Raceway, where a lot of other teams were as well. Got some laps in it. Got it on the racetrack. Got it shook down and stuff to see how everything was going to be.
From there, I normally try to go to the (indiscernible) school before I get out there. This year there's no time to get out there and do that. I'll be coming straight out from North Carolina, getting down to business when we get there pretty much.
I enjoy it. I think it's fun. I like road racing. Hopefully we can have a good car and run well.
Q. Next week you're coming out to Kentucky Speedway, you and a few other Cup drivers. What are your impressions of the track? What do you think the possibility of a Sprint Cup race being held there in the future?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, I think it's a good place. A lot of Cup teams like to test there and stuff like that. I've been there in the Nationwide Series, have raced around there.
The track, it's got rough, then they ground it, it got rough again, I think they ground it again. It's getting pretty thin. There are a lot of water issues that I hear are coming through the racetrack surface, stuff like that. That's something that we have to fight with, if there's any weather, if the track is going to seep or hold dry or whatnot.
Besides that, having a Cup race there, I think it would be good. It would take a place away from us we are able to go and test at. We wouldn't be able to test there any more. Not only that, but, again, the racetrack surface. I think for as soft as the land that it's built over, it's kind of hard to keep it dry all the time. From what I've heard anyway...
We went to test there twice this year and we got rained out. We were scared to go because of the water seepage. Besides that, I think it's a fun racetrack. It's a great racetrack. I think the fans around there are pretty great. They always seem to fill up the track in the Nationwide and Truck Series racing. That will be a busy weekend as well. I'll be running the Craftsman Truck Series race on that Saturday. As soon as that's over, flying down and going after the Nationwide race.
Q. You've had tremendous success of late. You get the same reaction at tracks when you go there, the boos, jeers. Do you think as you continue to pile up victories, more and more of those people will become respectful of your accomplishments and become more fans rather than someone who would boo?
KYLE BUSCH: No (laughter). It doesn't matter if you're winning races or, you know, not really winning races. If you show a persona on TV or whatever that I guess I've shown, just people don't adhere to it. They don't like you. They don't like seeing people that are cocky or arrogant or whatever.
I guess I've portrayed that a little bit. It's kind of frustrating because I don't feel like that's who I am or that's who I've tried to portray. But that's basically the reason why I feel like that I'm disliked. It's not necessarily just because of the on-track success.
Q. What were Joe and J.D.'s reaction to your desire to do the quad? Were they for it? Try to talk you out of it?
KYLE BUSCH: Actually, they never said anything really. We've had the Nashville thing on our schedule all year long. Since we've been running so well in the Craftsman Truck Series, Billy is leading or second, I'm not sure exactly where he's at out in the Truck Series standings for owners, we decided we'd go over there and run in the Truck Series.
It's fun for the fans I think, too, to see me be able to be as crazy or as stupid as I might be and trying to run all these. They get the excitement of seeing whether or not I'll succeed or fail. That's a good part of it, too.
Q. What are your three favorite tracks that you like to run on, either because of the track itself or because of the race?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, I'd have to say that Lowe's Motor Speedway is probably one of my favorites. Bristol and Las Vegas. Those are probably my three most favorite racetracks. Lowe's Motor Speedway because under the lights, being the first Speedway to be under the lights years ago, watching the All-Star Race, sparks flying and everything, stuff like that. Just the way that the old surface was. Now that the new surface is there, it's still pretty good. It's a fun racetrack.
You know, Bristol, just because it's Bristol. There's a lot of action that goes around there. It's the action track. A lot of good racing. A lot of stuff happens.
From there, Las Vegas I guess you'd say because of the repave job. Even though I did like it probably a little bit more when it was flat. Now it's a pretty fast, pretty fun racetrack. Of course, it's in my hometown, too.
Q. Your performance in Sonoma over the last few years has improved every year. Is it just a matter of getting comfortable on a road course race for every driver? Does it take a few years to get comfort there?
KYLE BUSCH: For me it did. Some drivers adhere to it a little bit than others. For me it took me just a little bit. You know, we had to work on our cars and try to get them a little bit better over there at Hendrick, then myself trying to work on my road course racing skills. I looked like a fish out water at first. I got pretty good, I guess, a little bit later on. Every road course finish I've had has kind of gotten steadily better and better and better if we haven't had mechanical issues.
Besides that, I look forward to going up there. I think it's a good race for me. I feel like we can run there again with the Joe Gibbs stuff. Hopefully we've got a good car. The M&M Toyotas have been fast. If we can show up there with another fast car, it will be good.
Q. How long do you think you can keep up this pace, trying to run all these races, especially as the Chase draws near?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, it's the middle part of the season. Right now I feel like we've got a good stature in the Cup Series, where we're at in the points standings, like 140 something ahead. You know, that's a good cushion to have. I think we're 430 and something like that ahead of 12th place. We've got a good cushion that we can still keep ourselves solidly into the top 12 to make the Chase.
Doesn't matter where you are in the standings going into Richmond, as long as you make it out of Richmond in the top 12, then you can go from there, then they reseed everybody for the last 10.
I feel like the middle part of the season is the biggest part of the season as far as going back and forth with Texas, then with Sonoma and Milwaukee. There's some races at St. Louis, Gateway, with the trucks and Nationwide stuff. On and on, I can keep going.
I feel like once you get down to the final 10, the races are companion events. It's not going to hurt that much when you get down towards the end of the year.
As far as me getting drained physically or anything like that, I don't feel like that's a possibility. Hopefully there's enough off time during the week where I can rest up and stuff like that. I'm a guy always on the go. Even if I'm not doing anything that day, I'll go work on my late models, go to the lake, do wake boarding, keep myself busy.
Q. Your bad boy image, you've embraced it as opposed to saying, Leave me alone. Why have you taken that approach?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't get what you mean.
Q. The image that you have, that people boo you, et cetera, you kind of almost enjoy it as opposed to saying I hate it?
KYLE BUSCH: It doesn't bother me. People are always going to have their opinion of other people. You can go up and meet somebody. It's like your first impressions of someone.
There's a lot of people out there that only get to see what I am, whether reading it on the Internet or seeing it on TV or whatever. They don't know me as a person. I've got a lot of great people that work with me and I've got a lot of great fans that like me.
It's kind of funny the way that it all works out. But to me I'm just out there to do a job, and that job's to win races and to go fast and be competitive in everything that I drive. As long as I'm doing that, then I'm doing my job and I can hopefully foresee a paycheck coming. As long as I'm doing what I need to be doing to help support myself and my family, whatnot...
It's all about being happy to be here and being confident in yourself and your cars, having the ability to go out there and do that. You got to think that you're the best when you go out there and do that because otherwise you're kind of already behind the eight ball mentally.
I feel like we're in a position we need to be in. So it's fun.
DENISE MALOOF: Kyle, thanks very much for your time today. Best of luck this weekend.
KYLE BUSCH: No problem. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
DENISE MALOOF: Thanks to all the media who joined us today.
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