NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Sylvania 300
Topics: Sylvania 300
September 22, 2013
LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
KERRY THARP: Kyle Busch has joined us here. Kyle is our race runner‑up of today's 17th Annual Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kyle drove the No.18 M&M's Peanut Butter Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing for the second straight week. Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, one‑two in the Chase race. Kyle, just talk about your race out there this afternoon.
KYLE BUSCH: Race was pretty good. Certainly we were never as fast this weekend as the 20 was. They just had a special car. Sometimes you unload with them, and they're just phenomenal. The 20 had that here this weekend. We tried everything to try to keep up with him and to get pace with him, but it was tough to do.
I can't say enough about the race we ran today. The guys did a great job of working on it for me and getting me better each and every run. I felt like we were making gains. And track position is certainly important, too. A little tough to pass, but that's been the name of the game here at Loudon for years.
All in all, though, there, those last couple restarts just making some spots, trying to keep spots there on the last one when I spun my tires too much. But just frustrating sometimes when you feel like you're getting beat on restarts too much.
Other than that, second.
KERRY THARP: Greg Biffle is now with us. Greg finished third in today's 17th Annual Sylvania 300. He drove the No. 16 3M Ford for Roush‑Fenway Racing. Certainly a good performance out there for you today. You've now cracked the top 5 in points. You're fifth. Talk about your race out there this afternoon.
GREG BIFFLE: Well, it was an up‑and‑down day for us. We started out in the top 10 and then fell back a little bit on some restarts. I got too tight on that long run and kind of got the bad luck of the draw on a restart or two.
Then there at the end, we just drove‑‑ we just kept gaining positions. I gained like four or five spots on a couple restarts in a row and got up in the top six, and then that final restart the outside lane really got going good.
We probably reeled in the 18 and the 20 by half a straightaway, maybe a little bit more there at the end, and the 18 was definitely catching the 20. He was a tenth or two faster than the 20. The 20 looked like he used his tires up. It was about to start to get exciting because Kyle was going to catch him. It looked like I was going to get him, get up to him about the same time.
But it was a good run overall. I'm excited about finishing third. Our car was competitive, and we're happy about the whole weekend.
Q. Kyle, you talked about trying to beat a faster car when the faster car is your teammate. It also looks like your best competition for winning the championship will also come under your same roof. How do you try to get the best out of what you can, trying to defeat Matt down the stretch?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't think you do anything differently than you've done all year long. I think the organization is going to give the equipment to the both of us. I don't think any one of us is going to get better stuff. It's just going to come down to better communication between myself and the crew chief in that way, because those are certainly the ways that you win these things. That's how you build speed is getting your car better all through the weekend. But if you can unload and just hit it and be on it and get going, then that's a better way to win each weekend, and I think the 20 lucked into one last weekend. I just didn't get a good enough restart and he got a better one, got a push, got by us.
And then here this weekend he got a good restart there. I spun my tires a little bit so I didn't get a chance to race him at all, and then I had to fend off everybody else and get stretched out and try to run him down.
It doesn't matter if it's your teammate or anybody else. You've still got to work hard and persevere. It's eight more weeks.
Q. For both Greg and Kyle, can you both maybe address Matt's season? I think everybody knew how good he was, but now he's got seven victories. He never had more than five in a season before. If you could talk about how he's acclimated to Joe Gibbs Racing. And Greg, if you could talk about being his teammate for so long and seeing him do so well.
KYLE BUSCH: Well, it reminds me of another similar situation in 2008. Matt is just executing the end of the deal, which is what you're supposed to do. I won eight of the first 26 and then fell flat on my face. Matt is doing a really good job, obviously. He's one of the best. That's why we went to talk to him, to hire him, and that's why he's here.
He's put it all together. I think JGR has got really good stuff, and Matt has been able to run really good in it, and I think Jason Ratcliff is really smart, and they're doing a good job together.
GREG BIFFLE: I'm just happy for Matt that he's able to do what he's doing. I'm just going to leave it at that.
Q. Kyle, kind of an unprecedented start for JGR to start the Chase. Talk about the advantage that gives you going forward for the next eight races.
KYLE BUSCH: It's early. I mean, it's week two. Certainly it's nice to get a strong start. There's no doubt about it. You'd rather finish first both weeks than 43rd and get yourself up there and get a strong foundation built to where you can continue on down the road and maybe not have so much pressure on yourself to have to perform to catch up.
But that's good that we're both up there like that, that we're able to do that and that we're pushing each other hard and that we're pushing the competition, as well, too.
Q. Kyle and Greg, can you just explain how your cars were after the sun went down and we had some cloud cover?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, the cloud cover for me just seemed to add a little bit of grip. Seemed like you could feel the track a little bit more. Definitely it got dark. My tinted shield was almost too much.
You work on continuing throughout the day, and I think the racetrack was just faster, and it seemed like your tires would last a little bit longer and whatnot. But as far as the general race I don't think much changed.
Q. Do you guys have any comment on someone like Kenseth winning, steady, non‑controversial type personality, at least from what I see, as compared to someone like maybe Bowyer or Truex Jr., if they had won after what happened in Richmond? Does that smooth things out a little bit or maybe something NASCAR enjoyed, to help put that stuff behind you?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't know; Kerry, are you guys picking who wins every weekend? I don't think it matters. Whoever is the fastest car wins, and the last two weeks it's been the fastest car that wins, so I think it's good.
Q. I'm not saying NASCAR is‑‑
KYLE BUSCH: I know what you're saying. Move on.
Q. Greg, can you talk a little bit about that move that you made on lap 258 where you dove down and secured the third position?
GREG BIFFLE: Yeah, I probably don't remember that right now. I was doing all I could do to try and gain spots, and I was three wide on the bottom and got that to work a couple times, and then the last bit of that, the outside really worked well for me.
It's so hard to get a run off the bottom. The 48 was underneath me, and he just couldn't get the throttle down on the bottom. The 48 was probably faster than me that first 15 laps. He was all over my rear bumper but couldn't really do anything, and then I was able to‑‑ after his tires leveled off I was able to drive away from him. I came from, I don't know, 15th or something like that to 3rd. The car got really good as somebody mentioned when the sun went down and it cooled off. My car picked up a lot of speed, and it seemed like everybody else around me didn't pick up as much speed as our car did, so it worked out.
Q. Greg, just wanted to ask you kind of following up on a comment that Kyle made saying it's just week two, still too early, but given what you've seen from their camp, the strength that they've shown in the first two weeks and the body of evidence that Matt Kenseth has put together, what kind of threat do they pose now for the championship amongst everybody else in the garage area?
GREG BIFFLE: I mean, I think that we all knew they were going to be tough when the Chase came, certainly. Let's face it, they've had good cars forever. Kyle mentioned he won eight races, and Denny Hamlin making the Chase and making a run at the title, and everybody thought he was going to be the guy that was going to beat everyone, and they've won a tremendous amount of races. They do have fast cars; that's no doubt.
And I won the first two Chase races before, also, and then didn't win the championship. Anything can happen. But they have good momentum, and they've got good, fast cars.
Q. Greg, today felt a little reminiscent of Michigan where you kind of held off Johnson towards the end of the race. Do you feel you have his number when it comes to just the two of you?
GREG BIFFLE: No, I don't think so. I think we race really good together. I'm sure he's not happy right now, not being able to get by me and having what appeared to be a little faster car for maybe 15 laps, then he faded. You know, some guys' cars run good at the beginning of the run, and some guys run a little stronger at the end, and my car seemed to do better at the end of the run.
But we race well together. We race each other pretty hard and clean, and I enjoy that.
KERRY THARP: Kyle and Greg, congratulations on a solid start. Thank you.
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