Toyota NSCS Phoenix Notes & Quotes – Kyle Busch

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Notes & Quotes Phoenix International Raceway — February 26, 2011

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Combos Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What is your outlook for this weekend at Phoenix after winning the Truck Series race last night? “Everything went real well for us last night with our Dollar General Tundra. Had a great truck race, had a lot of fun and really cool to bring home a win this early in the season for our guys over there with our new chassis that was the first time out with yesterday. So that was good. I’m looking forward to the Nationwide race today with Interstate Batteries and the guys — Norm Miller and the group that wanted to be on the race car this weekend. So, we appreciate those guys. And, then I’m looking forward to the Cup race as well too. The Combos folks are here this weekend so it will be a good ordeal to get some good exposure for those guys and hopefully have a strong run. We feel that we’ve always run really well in a Combos car. I think it’s actually undefeated in the Cup Series, so I don’t know. For me, it’s undefeated — I think Elliott Sadler drove it before. It’s been fun to race that car so hopefully we can have a good run with it this weekend. Being as though it’s the last race on the old surface here this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway I’m kind of sad to see it go, but excited to see what new changes are in store for us when we come back in November.”

How do you like your chances of sweeping the races this weekend? “I like my chances. I feel they’re pretty good. We ran pretty good times yesterday in the Nationwide car and then in the Cup Series car — granted it’s never over until it’s over so we’ll see how that goes today. The Nationwide car seems to be really good. It seems like there’s a couple guys that run the same times as us so it will be a good show there. And, then the Cup race is always the hardest one, the best one, the last one so we’ll see how that goes. Obviously, the competition is so high there and everybody that’s so good. We actually feel that we had some good times yesterday, but the 4 of Kasey Kahne was really good too. He seems to be probably one of the best cars as well so we’ll see how it all plays out. Overall, chances if I had to say I’d say we’re definitely top-five in all of them so we’ll see if we can’t knock a win out.”
American Muscle

Did you observe other drivers trying to drive slowly in the final practice because of their qualifying spot? “If they would read the rules correctly then they would understand that’s the wrong thing to do. As Kerry (Tharp, NASCAR) mentioned, Kurt (Busch) and I — Kurt was a little bit faster than my time in the first practice to my time in the second practice. So, we go out last of the cars that are in the show — the guaranteed starters. Then, after us the final 10 or 12 cars that go out are the go or go-homers. We’re the last of the guys that are locked into the show to go so it’s more beneficial to us. Places like Indy, when Indy is at 10 o’clock in the morning, you want to go out first. You would run your whole lap, you would actually have somebody stand at the beginning of pit road — the pit wall there with a stopwatch and clock you from there and then you’ll shut the motor off before you get to the start-finish line so then you back up your time. We’re all smart, we all know how this show runs down. As Kerry mentioned, they’ll change that hopefully so it will make it more interesting that qualifying will be later in the afternoon.”

Why do you think other drivers were driving slower in the final practice? “I don’t know why you would. Qualifying is at 1:40 — it’s going to be hot. The track temp will not change five, at most 10 degrees between the start and the end of qualifying. So, it means nothing. We just ran 40 trucks and there’s probably 45 Nationwide cars and there’s probably 45 Cup cars so you’re talking 130 vehicles ran for nine hours yesterday. If it ain’t rubbered in by now, I don’t know when it’s going to be rubbered in in qualifying. Track temp is not going to change a whole lot, the track is rubbered in and it’s good to go. Everybody who thought they were sandbagging for some big ol’ shindig reason, they’ll be far unimpressed.”

Is it early enough in the season where bad finishes hurt you more than in the past with the new points system? “It’s definitely early enough in the year and through the models that NASCAR said that they did and everything it’s still relative. It’s definitely different, but it’s still relative. I think it’s a little bit easier to kind of figure out where you need to be if you’re 20 points behind a guy — that’s 20 spots. Besides leading a lap and or leading the most laps or winning and stuff like that. So, you can close the gap up faster by being able to do those things. To me, right now in the season the points doesn’t mean anything. You’ll start worrying about points probably Charlotte time. That’s when you need to start structuring where you’re at and where you want to be when it comes down to Richmond.”

Will getting married during the offseason be a factor in how you run races? “No, no change at all. I’m pretty well wired that it’s strictly go as fast as you can everytime you’re out there on the race track. That doesn’t bother me one bit. She (Samantha Busch, wife) knows that and Samantha is all about it. She enjoys the time that we have going everywhere and doing all of the things that we do and of course the races that I run. Sometimes there’s some off-weekends there so that’s always good. Everything else is all about trying to win races and bring home the trophies.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Combos Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) Will it be shocking to get only one point if you go out of the race early and finish last? “Yeah, that’s definitely going to hurt your feelings a little bit. It’s kind of weird when you’re — now with the truck points and Nationwide points you see zero and it’s like, ‘Well, what the hell? I just ran a race.’ You do get the owner’s points out of it. It’s all relative somehow. For the points the way it is, it’s definitely going to take a little bit of time for everybody to get used to. It’s going to be weird to see how we’re only separated by four points or we’re tied or we’re separated by two points

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