NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Air Guard 400
Topics: Air Guard 400
September 11, 2010
KERRY THARP: Joining us tonight is our race runner-up, Kyle Busch, also the fourth seed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Kyle Busch drives the No. 18 M&M's Toyota. Talk about your race out there, you and Hamlin were really going at it, and also being seeded fourth in the Chase.
KYLE BUSCH: It was a good night for us all around. It started out a little rough yesterday qualifying 32, but we were able to rebound well and climbed up to the front steadily and methodically and not get into anything. Guys did great on pit road and Dave worked a lot on the car last night and this morning getting it prepared and ready for today and making some changes. Real proud of his effort and the way that guys thought about things and really gave me a good piece tonight to come out and run so well.
I felt like the 11 was just a step ahead of us tonight and they deserved to win. They gave us our air pressure that we started running about mid race, and we really started clicking off and going forward. It was good. We can't be disappointed in a second tonight. We wanted to win, and we fought hard with Denny, but racing teammates clean like that, and you know, not laying a bumper at all, just making sure that the Gibbs cars had a good, solid night, so that we have everything on our side heading into the Chase here next weekend.
Q. What is it about the Job Gibbs cars that seem to have this track figured out? This is the third consecutive victory for a Job Gibbs car here.
KYLE BUSCH: I think it's really, really cool the way we have been able to run well here and the way it is with Joe Gibbs Racing, but I give a little bit of credit -- I give a lot of credit to the team and to the guys. They build great stuff. But a little bit of the credit probably to Denny and myself, as well. Denny has always run well here and has always been the car to beat, better than myself. My average finish here, it's really, really good. I've run well here in the five days -- I remember starting 36th and running all the way up to second and just not quite having enough to beat Jimmie Johnson one Sunday afternoon, we ran, actually, because of the rainout on Saturday night.
It's a true testament to everybody. Denny and I know how to get around this place and know what to talk about with our crew chiefs and know what to explain to those guys and what to talk amongst ourselves to get our stuff better. Yesterday we sat and we were like, what are we doing, we're just missing something. We all just talked about it and thought about some things and looked at some areas we have not really looked at before and made some good changes and went in that direction, so it really helped tonight.
Q. Following up that question, does Denny's history here, and part of your history here, give you all the feeling on the Gibbs team that you can start anywhere in the pack and come out ahead?
KYLE BUSCH: It sort of seems that way. You know, I think that both of us have a really good history around this place and a really good knack of just how to run it.
So it works for the both of us, and, you know, we talk about it a lot amongst ourselves in our team meetings and stuff. You know, I mean, you can kind of use the answer I gave before for the rest of it I guess.
Q. A lot of people talk about your talent and how great of a driver you are, but Denny sometimes seems to get overlooked in all of that. Can you talk about just I guess what you see in him as a driver and what you think of his chances in the Chase?
KYLE BUSCH: You can't count him out. I mean, you can't count out anybody. We look at who wants to be the best person, we all want to identify somebody, but you can't.
I mean, look at Jeff Burton, for instance. He was really fast at Dover, and gave me a run for my money at Dover along with Jimmie before Jimmie had his pit road issues. You know, Clint runs fast at Martinsville. He runs fast at Kansas. I can pick about three racetracks every driver is really, really good at. Denny has really picked up the mile-and-a-half program this year, a lot better than I have. I've picked up the short track program. Being able to utilize our information as much as we can has really helped us as a team.
Q. You sounded very respectful of your fellow Job Gibbs racers out there, but if it does come down to Homestead what's the game plan?
KYLE BUSCH: Hopefully it doesn't, the big if. But if it does, it's going to be no holds barred. It came down to us last year, and if it's the same, Denny was leading the race, I was running second chasing him down and I moved around my line a little bit and he moved his and I couldn't catch him anymore. If it comes down to me having to win the race in order to win the championship or if he wins the race he wins the championship, it's going to be whatever happens.
You know, if it comes down to where he wins the race and I finish second, it's going to be an awfully disappointing night for the 18 team, but yet a very exciting one for the 11.
Q. Speaking to tonight's race, it was billed as nobody had anything to lose, go out there, it was going to be everybody going after each other but only three cautions, one for rain. Why do you think we saw almost such a timid race? You and Denny got after it at the end but really it was a calm deal out there. What are your thoughts on that?
KYLE BUSCH: I don't know. You tell me. You're probably one of the best at picking out drama like you did last week with Todd Bodine, so I won't answer your question.
Q. Would you be in favor of putting Richmond into one of the final ten races?
KYLE BUSCH: Would I be favor in putting Richmond in one of the final ten races for the Chase? Yeah, my average run here is pretty decent, so I would be really, really happy about that. I don't think that's the case. I think we are the same schedule next year, so it doesn't matter. But you know, it's going to be exciting next year to see a couple different racetracks in the Chase, see how they can mix it up, but other than that, you're still going to have -- I'm not saying you're going to see the same Chase field next year but you'll see the same players going after it at some of the typical racetracks that we always do.
Q. Obviously you guys made a crew chief change for a reason but at this point looking at the season so far, how do you feel your work has gone with Dave Rogers?
KYLE BUSCH: I feel like it's gone really well. I feel like there are some areas where we are both learning. This is my fifth or sixth season in the Cup Series and I'm learning a lot about how to attack different racetracks different ways and it's changing all the time with the way this car evolves and the tires. Dave's job is endless, he has 11 road guys, 16 total here on race day and all of the guys back at the top.
A crew chief's day never ends. It's a huge sacrifice and a huge sacrifice on his family's part, too, for him not to be around as much. But I feel like with the changes we made, this is the direction we were looking to be. We were solidly in the Chase this year. We had some struggle points early on in the season, we were kind of blank, and then we came on a little bit more towards the spring months and then we kind of fell off a little bit. And now we are picking back up a little.
Hopefully we can carry it on for 13 weeks. We see trends for eight or nine weeks where guys can keep it going but I'm looking forward to it. We have a good shot at it and I can't discount us run bit. I'm hoping we can run strong and hard and chase these guys down.
KERRY THARP: Kyle, thank you very much and good luck in the Chase.
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