Toyota NCS Pocono Quotes – Kyle Busch

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 Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch was made available to media prior to the Pocono Raceway race on Saturday: 

KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry TRD, Joe Gibbs Racing

Can you talk about the success your Truck Series program has had at Pocono?

“Thanks. The guys have certainly worked hard and done a great job the last few years. I remember coming here the first time – I think we had Kasey Kahne and we finished second to (Kevin) Harvick. And, then we come here the next year and I think we finished second again to KHI. The press was on to get there at Pocono and certainly they’ve done that. Nice to continue the strong effort here. Wasn’t sure that John Hunter (Nemechek) was going to make it up that far so good to see the 51 (Corey Heim) and the 4 (John Hunter Nemechek) get finishes that were solid, and of course Chandler (Smith) be able to get to victory lane and win for us today in his Toyota Tundra. A good day.”

David Wilson indicated that he met with you at New Hampshire. What were your takeaways from the meeting with him and did it change any of your feelings?

“We’re all working as hard as we can obviously, and the goal hasn’t changed. And, that goal is for me to be able to continue at Joe Gibbs Racing with Toyota and have that chance to continue to race for race wins and race for championships. That’s what everybody is striving for. That’s the first goal and we’ll continue to try to push for that.”

How does the Kyle Busch Motorsports Truck Series program factor into your discussions in remaining at Joe Gibbs Racing?

“It doesn’t factor into discussions with Joe Gibbs Racing. It does factor in to discussions obviously with Toyota. Definitely, that weighs on me a lot. We’ve got 50-something employees at Kyle Busch Motorsports on the Truck Series team and in the chassis shop, in the body shop, in the fab shop – everywhere. So, it’s important for me to continue to keep all of them in mind and all of their families and stuff to make sure that we get something done that keeps all of that going. Obviously, again, it’s a topic point of mine to keep that as much as we can and to keep that place flourishing.”

What is your outlook for Kyle Busch Motorsports during the Truck Series playoffs?

“I love Chandler (Smith) getting another win here and getting himself some more bonus points getting into the Playoffs. I think that’s a really good chance for us, and I feel like the 4 (John Hunter Nemechek) Truck is as well too. Obviously, the 51 with Corey (Heim) has gotten a win there and is not racing full-time so it doesn’t have that opportunity. I feel like we’ve got two really strong horses and they’ve done a super job. John Hunter (Nemechek) and Erik (Phillips, crew chief), Danny (Stockman, crew chief) and Chandler (Smith) – they’re both championship caliber teams and drivers and crew chiefs and everybody is ready to go. That was a brand-new truck here today for Chandler. He did a nice job with it and was able to score the win. So, no reason why I don’t feel like our guys should really strive and try to hit all their marks and be perfect here in the remaining races for their Playoffs and championship hopes.”

How have you seen Chandler Smith grow in the last year and a half on and off the track?

“He’s done a good job. He’s really come a long way. He’s still young. I remember my young days. He is fiery. He likes to say stuff sometimes out of turn, which I’ve been there, I’ve done that and hell I probably did it yesterday. But he’s been able to get the job done this year and that’s just the growth relationship between he and Danny (Stockman) and being comfortable with these trucks. They’re getting the most out of it right now so that’s exciting to see. Hell, he outdrove me and beat me at Vegas. Him and John Hunter (Nemechek) have had their quirks a little bit through the year, but I feel like they’re all on the same team, same goal, want an opportunity to go out there and win a championship for KBM. So, may the best man win.”

Are you happy with how the contract talks are progressing on the Cup Series side?

“I mean, you’d like to be done obviously. So, certainly that would be key but obviously you’ve got to just kind of weigh out everything that’s in front of you and see what the best thing is not only for myself in Kyle, for my family and of course too, the KBM family.”

What kind of a distraction have the contract talks been? Does it all go away when you put your helmet on or does some of that linger once you’re behind the wheel?

“No, I mean when you’re behind the wheel and you’re racing you’re focused on that task and what that is. So, you try to put that best foot forward and that chance to be able to go out there and score wins. The best thing right now is to go out there and show everybody that you can still do it, that you can still win, that you can still be competitive. Hell, if it was four weeks ago, we were talking about being second in points and chasing after a regular season championship. We went cold and somebody else standing over there got hot. We’ve fallen far away from that obviously right now, but we still want to make ourselves as high as we can in points. Get those reset points from the standings aspect and be able to go chase for a championship.”

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