Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch was made available to media at Texas Motor Speedway:
KYLE BUSCH, No.18 M&M’s Hazelnut Spread Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Can you talk about how the track has changed from the first race to the second race here?
“I’m not really sure that it changes a whole lot. The track does look lighter in color, where the spray is not. It’s probably aged a fair bit in the summertime. The spray that’s there – once it’s activated – I’m sure it will be more grip, and people will move around.”
How different is the car when you set it up for a short-run and a long-run car?
“Short-runs used to be about 10 laps, and now short-runs are probably 20-25 laps. It takes that long. The amount of downforce we have now is greater, so the amount of tire falloff you have is less. The time in which it takes for tire falloff to come into effect throughout a run takes longer. That’s why it is harder to pass, and you get stuck sometimes, because you have to wait 50 laps for guys to finally get in the long run and fall off a little bit. Next thing you know 15-20 laps later, you are on pit road for a pit stop. Short-run speed, this day and age, is very important.”
Can a difference of a short-run or a long-run at the end play as much of a difference at Homestead?
“No, every week you try to figure out how good it is on the short-run and how good it is on the long-run. In practice, you can’t really go out there and run 60 laps. You just try to do what you can and sometimes you kind of figure it out in the race. But you can kind of tell over the last nine months that the JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars have been more tuned in for long-run stuff. They have been better over the course of a run than they have on the short-run, because we just haven’t been qualifying well. That’s a good sense of who has what, and where their trim levels are.”
How much do you compare yourselves to your teammates?
“They are the ones that it’s the easiest to compare too, because you are essentially in the same stable of stuff. It’s certainly frustrating – more frustrating probably – when you are getting outrun by your teammates then when you are outrunning them.”
Were you serious about retiring from Xfinity when you reach 100 wins?
“Yeah, I’ve said it over and over again. I would be there by now and I would have been out of it by now but apparently NASCAR and the fans love me there so much they keep make limitations on keeping me there. I’ve also said that I’ll get to 100 and then I don’t need to be there. That’s just kind of a number I would like to get to. From there I would just to favors for Joe (Gibbs, team owner). If Joe needs me to go over there, and fill-in or whatever, or if he needs my help to sell some races for someone else to run here or there, I would still help.”
Is it the same for the Trucks?
“No, I’m more frustrated in that being limited than I am with the Xfinity cars. I would love to still be able to run more races with my own team, my own guys and everybody that works at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) for me. Those guys are special to me and have been for a long, long time. I’ve got guys that have been there from the beginning, in fact, and would love to get more races in the trucks.”
How did you feel about the Todd Gilliland win and did those feelings change at all after what he said on the radio?
“It felt good to see him win. I’m proud of the effort. I know those guys have been working hard and doing a really good job of figuring out what’s missing. Overall, being able to put it in Victory Lane is what matters most. It’s good that he was able to get that done, and finally be able to get to Victory Lane. Hopefully, they can get some more here – two more times.”
You’ve probably said some things on the radio that you wished you didn’t say, so do you chalk that up to that?
“I’ll just go with I don’t think I’ve ever attacked the boss.”
What does your lineup look like next year at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports)?
“Looks like three full-time trucks. Two with drivers chasing after a championship and one with fillers, just like this year.”
There are a couple Playoff drivers that have gone almost a year without a speeding penalty. Does that surprise you?
“I’ll bet you all the money in the world that I can go a whole year without speeding on pit road if you want to make that bet. It’s all about where your tolerances are set. You have that tachometer that we all work off of and our lights and everything else that you have heard us talk about that we set our pit road speeds to. Some guys tolerances are way tighter and closer to that limit than others. It’s just a matter of it. There’s a sheet that we get every week that gives us a rundown of pit road speeds and guys on pit road and how fast they are and all of that sort of stuff. The 18 car, we’ve been number one on that sheet for the past four years. We will keep doing what we do and continue to be number one on that sheet. Sometimes we will have to pay that price with a speeding penalty and you just have to know when you have to back it down a little.”
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