TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Notes & Quotes Auto Club – Kyle Busch

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Notes & Quotes Auto Club Speedway — March 25, 2011

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What is your outlook on California this weekend? “I’m looking forward to it. I enjoy coming out to California. It’s been a good place for me. We’ve had a lot of fun here over the years in the Nationwide Series and in the Truck Series and we’re looking for some more success like we had in 2005 with the Cup car. I’m excited about this weekend. Bring the Interstate Batteries — I call it the Hybrid Camry — out this weekend and get a chance to have some fun with Norm (Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries) and the boys so I’m looking forward to that. Hoping we can have a good car this weekend, that we can have a good solid run on Sunday and continue our momentum from Bristol.”

How do you manage good luck and bad luck as a driver when you have hot and cold streaks? “Good question — I don’t know. It’s so tough, but this sport is based on results and results come whether you’re good or whether you have some luck. Coach (Joe Gibbs) doesn’t believe in luck at all. ‘You make your own,’ I guess he likes to say. When you look at Joey Logano and the way his year started out is just terrible. It’s nothing that he’s done wrong. I guess you could say that you do make your own luck. In Joey’s situation from last weekend with I guess it was one of the wheel spacer bolts or screws came loose so essentially that was a man mistake. Some of our engine malfunctions that we found at the shop were man mistakes. We’re essentially making our own luck I guess. If it came down to the final 10 races and you had the same situation happen what do you do? Everybody says, ‘Ah, they’re falling apart.’ And it’s like, well I guess to a point you are. But, you’d certainly like to have it now than later. Hopefully Joey can still battle back and get up into the top-10 in points or at least get a few wins so he can be the wild card. That would be good for us and for Joe Gibbs Racing regardless of what the other guys feel. If they’ve had good luck so far, that’s great and dandy, but we’re worried about us and not necessarily anybody else.”
American Muscle

Are you surprised that Carl Edwards didn’t try to move you out of the way at Bristol? “He (Carl Edwards) did try. He did get into me once. He bumped me, but it wasn’t like he tried to get into the left-rear quarter panel and spin me out at all. We raced each other hard, we raced each other clean. That was good. If Carl wants to continue saying that he still owes me one, whatever, I don’t care. I’m racing my race and how I should be racing, and racing all of my competitors and not worrying about all of that stuff. To me, we’re here at California and I’m ready to move and see if we can’t win out here.”

Are you racing in the Nationwide Series to break all of these records? “That’s not why I’m doing it, no. I love to race, I love to get out there and compete against all of the competitors every weekend whether it’s Cup or Nationwide or double-dippers. For me, the numbers are just the numbers. If you are successful and you win races the numbers will come by themselves. To me, we just keep doing what we’re supposed to be doing and that’s to run hard and be strong and do what we can every week to get to victory lane.”

What has made you become more mature and more relaxed this season? “A lot of people have pointed to that — with Samantha (Busch, wife) and getting married this off-season and stuff like that. I give a lot of credit to her and just some things that we’re doing together in our lives that we’re happy with and we’re doing. It’s been really good. Other than that it’s just great that people have taken a little bit of notice more to maybe who I am or what I am. With that, we just continue on moving forward and doing what we’re doing.”

How do you balance your new attitude along with still being competitive on the race track? “Tony’s (Stewart) is the best at it. Tony’s really quick at being able to just come up with snide remarks sometimes so I’m not that good. He’s got it going on. For me, I don’t know. You listen to some of the people that say, ‘Well, don’t change,’ and ‘Stay the way that you are and get in trouble,’ and all of that stuff. I can’t do that anymore. I’m more about just trying to make do with what I can do and keep things right. Like I told her, keep moving forward in what I’m doing and keep seeing the change. I think maybe last year or the year before or whatever it was maybe it was a little more fabricated. People were telling me what to do and how to act rather than me doing the work and actually becoming the person inside.”

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing (continued) How do you think the new restrictor plate size will impact the racing at Talladega? “I think what they are looking for is just to keep the speeds down obviously with how we all figured out how to push draft. They were expecting the speeds. We didn’t push draft all that much last year at Talladega. They are going to be expecting us to do that. They’re going to be expecting the speeds to be higher. They’re just being a little proactive there. No problem in doing that. I think it’s actually a smart idea rather than changing it on us when we do get to the race track. They did a good job. I don’t think it will change much. The racing will stay the same. The push draft will still be there. Essentially the dynamic of the race like it was in Daytona will be the same in Talladega.”

How big of a weekend is this for Joe Gibbs Racing engines? “This will be a good weekend for us. The guys back at the engine shop, they’ve been working hard and working some long hours trying to get our issues resolved. They’ve done a really nice job. We haven’t had that many engine failures except what has popped up this year. You’re going to have some here and there when you’re trying stuff. You’re always trying stuff and you can always go so far on the chassis dyno or on the engine dyno, but until you get to the race track dyno is what I call it — the asphalt — you don’t necessarily know what exactly is under the hood. It will be a good test for us this weekend for sure with the big race track here and the long, sustained RPM at a high level with the out of gas through the corners. On the long run, you’ll be out of the gas a long time. Seeing how all of that plays out will be good. I suspect we’ll be fine.”

How is Joey Logano dealing with his bad luck this year? “I think he’s doing well. He’s high spirited — he’s a kid you know. He enjoys where he’s at. He likes the role he’s in, but he would rather be in the top-10 of course. Or at least just getting the finishes that they deserve in the past weeks. Joey’s (Logano) got a little frustration too. We were doing autographs yesterday for a bunch of people at Toyota headquarters and had a great day there and there were some people that were kind of razzing him a little bit about his bad luck and they’ve been trying tell him, ‘Hey, keep it up, keep your spirits up.’ A couple ladies, I told them to rub his head. We’re trying to change it for him, we’re trying to help him out. It’s not that he’s struggling at all — he’s fine. It’s just a matter of it beats you up a little bit mentally because you know you could be 10th to 15th or maybe even higher in points and you’re not there. I think he’s mired back in the 20s somewhere. He’s fine and he’ll get back up there. It’s just a matter of getting some good weeks going here and once he does get back on that string like he did last fall, I think he was the second higher points scorer in the final 10 races. He can do it, it’s not a matter of his driving talent, it’s just a matter of getting it all put together.”

What do you think of the fact that you are paired with Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty for most wins before age 26? “I beat them to 25, but they beat me to 26. I didn’t win enough this calendar year from May 2 to May 2. There’s still some opportunities for some more wins. Essentially that’s what it tells me. That’s what I read into it when you say that is I think I was the highest winner to 25, but now I’m not to 26. Whatever. It’s interesting. It has all come at such a young age, but there has been guys that have been here at a young age too that have been just as successful. You say the guys — (Richard) Petty and (Jeff) Gordon and so I’m watching video of (Jimmie) Johnson winning here and he’s another one of those guys. He wasn’t quite as young, but when you look at his career and how long he’s been here from 2002 — his rookie year to where he is now — going on 10 seasons. 54 wins or whatever it’s been — that’s a guy that you look at and say, ‘Man, he’s done a lot in a short period of time and five championships and everything else.’ Never finishing outside the top-five or 10 in points or whatever. That’s a guy that everybody would like to be if they had their choice and could pick somebody to follow after. We’ll see how things go here in the next few weeks and next few years and through my career, but all in all it’s been good so far. There’s plenty more for it to grow.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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