NASCAR Nextel Cup Series: Gatorade Duel 2
Topics: Gatorade Duel
February 16, 2006
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: Joining us right now second place finisher in the No. 5 Kellogg Chevrolet. Kyle, talk about your run out there this afternoon.
KYLE BUSCH: It was a pretty good run for the Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte-Carlo SS. We did a good job with this Chevrolet. It was really good. I was very impressed with the way the guys have built this one. Steve Bergy and all those guys that built our restrictor plate race cars are doing a whale of a job out there. To be able to have the 24 and 5 run the way we did, I think it was pretty cool the way that we were able to pull the draft. We pulled it so fast that there wasn't a whole lot of passing up front.
Any time people got single file, they'd want to latch on and just stay single file so we could get away from the rest of the guys in the field and whatnot.
Being able to run up front like that, for myself leading the majority of the first half, Jeff the majority of the second half, was definitely pretty cool for Hendrick Motorsports. We're looking forward to the 500.
Q. Kyle, over the course of this week, everybody has talked about bump-drafts, it seems like what's emerging is there's this feeling that some of the older drivers are blaming some of the younger drivers for being too aggressive. As one of the younger drivers, do you feel like they're sort of trying to single you out without naming you or anybody else, and do you think that's fair?
KYLE BUSCH: Uhm, I'm not sure if they're singling me out. What I do want to say is from previous reports, you know, the 5 is the one that caused the wreck on the back straightaway pushing the 25 into the 26. That's unfair to judge. If you go back and review the tapes, the 25 and the 26 got together first, and the 25 was wrecking before I was into them. I busted my grill on that.
The deal with the 6 going down the back straightaway, you know, he was kind of messing around thinking he was going to go to the outside and pass those guys. I was going to stick to the bottom and get in behind I believe it was my teammates, if I'm not mistaken. Then he tried to get back in line real quick at the last minute. Yeah, I should have let him in. That was a mistake on my part. He went for a little ride there.
All's good between the 5 and the 6. You know, the deal with Tony Stewart is I was waving for a lap and a half coming off of turn four, the lap before, and the 11 I'm sure had to have seen me. He just decided that he wanted to pass me and get me stuck out of line. That was the lap we were planning on pitting. I was trying to keep it on the bottom, but I got a little tight off 2, gave him the room.
As far as the whole bump-drafting deal, it is what it is. I'm going to go with Dale Jr.'s quote on that. It's a necessary evil. It's something that's out there, something that has been around for a little while. Yeah, there's the veterans that some know how to do it, some veterans don't know how to do it. Some veterans think they can do it through the tri-oval with other veterans, they're going to get away with it. That may be true, but when you're pushing a rookie through a trial, we may not be necessary or aware or ready for it and cause something there.
As far as it being unfair to myself or the younger drivers to not be allowed to bump-draft, no, I don't think it's fair. You learn by trial and error. You have to go out there and learn how to do it, yes. You should learn how to do it between the specific points, which for me I've only tried to do it between what NASCAR has proven the okay zone, I guess they're calling it, not through the corners, just down the straightaways. That's the only place I've been doing the bump-drafts. Seems as though it played out all right tonight. We were able to come home second.
Q. Did you get a little overzealous on the pit stop? Did you spend any time beating yourself up after that was over?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I did the same thing in the shootout. I don't know what it is about me being able to come in on pit road on old tires here at Daytona and Talladega. You know, a bunch of guys on the green flag stops, they'll lock them up coming into pit road, and then not having any tire. Running on their inner liner. For some reason I'm pretty good at coming into pit road, but then as soon as I get down in my stall, I get in there a little too hot.
I'm going to try to go back and talk with Jeff and Jimmie and learn some things from those guys on what they've learned over the past years, you know, being that way. The beach, it's always sandy and whatnot. Sometimes the guys don't get the stalls cleaned up. I'm pretty sure mine was cleaned up because they've always been pretty good at doing that. Just driver error at that point.
Q. Do you think the racing today was pretty calm because people have really learned something or because it wasn't that important?
KYLE BUSCH: You ask the guys in the back that were coming to try to make a spot for the 500 if it was important. They'll tell you it was pretty important.
But we had -- you know, for the second shootout, the race I was in, there wasn't a whole lot of bump-drafting because, like I said before, the 24 and the 5, pulled the draft so fast, you couldn't really get alongside or you could be even catch the guy in front of you to bump-draft him.
The first race, though, I'd have to say that there was a little bit of the bump-draft going on. You saw some of it with Stewart, Junior was doing it. I believe the 48 a couple times. I'm not quite sure on anybody else. I was watching it, but I wasn't necessarily paying attention to that. I was watching more so where guys were going.
The first duel race, there was a lot of really, really good cars. The 48 was in there, the 25. They were both good cars. The 20, the 11, the 8, the 1. There was definitely more good cars in the first race than the second.
THE MODERATOR: Kyle, thank you.
KYLE BUSCH: All right.
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