Transcript: Media Conference – Kyle Busch – Talladega

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THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our race winner, Kyle Busch.

Kyle, congratulations on that win. 10 races into the season, you now have two wins with your team at RCR. Tell us about those final laps, what it means to have two wins in the books at this point in the season.

KYLE BUSCH: It means a lot obviously. Last time I won here, 15 years ago, my first year with JGR. Here we are with my first year in RCR being able to get back into Victory Lane at Talladega. It’s been a little bit.

It is really cool to welcome on a new partner of ours with McLaren Custom Grills, to score a win with them and RCR, Team Chevy, to get the Camaro in Victory Lane here, really good for us.

We were obviously short on fuel, kind of stretching it. I don’t think we would have taken that chance, I probably wouldn’t have taken that chance of staying out but for the win in Fontana. That opened up our playbook, gave us a chance to be up front, restart up front and go for a win today.

Yeah, just being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes you got to be lucky. Feels good to have that. I’m sure all of you guys are going to be going to Cheddar’s tomorrow for your free tender meal as I probably need to send Brexton over there, we’ll get some of our own.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll now go to questions.

It sounded like Randall was trying to call you to pit road too late, you were past it. What exactly was the sequence there of you talking about that?

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, on my own mind, I was like there’s no way you come to pit road and just throw away your day, like your day is done. We didn’t have any stage points, we had nothing at that point in the race. I was why not take the chance.

He said, Pit, pit, pit.

I was like, It’s a good thing it’s too late anyway.

I knew I wasn’t going to get it in there, but also I wouldn’t have anyways. I would have taken the chance and said, You know what, roll the dice, let’s go.

You struggled at superspeedways before you came to RCR. How much has joining RCR helped you gain your confidence? First two plate races this year, you have been a contender.

KYLE BUSCH: I wouldn’t say today we contended much. We got up front there for a little bit, then we came off of pit road really, really good in that second stage I believe behind Chase, and the 24 was with us. Then we caught up with the Fords. Then we all got misconjobulated, shucked me to the back, I was in the back again. The 9, I think he won that stage. That must have been the finish of stage two.

Yeah, our average running position and where we ran for most of the day wouldn’t have showed we contended much. But take ’em as they come. It was just like a 200-mile-an-hour parade lap. Hard to make passes, get enough room in the middle to make a move up the middle, get enough of a gap to the inside where you can fall in, try to cycle up, get a gap to the outside, cycle up. It was really hard.

You referenced the 15 years. Did you ever feel Lady Luck was going to shine back on you?

KYLE BUSCH: Well, ever since 2015 struck, I’ve always just hoped to walk out of a speedway race at the end of the day. When you’re able to do that, you might as well take solace in it. It’s not a win, but at least you’re going home on your own two feet.

Races, they’re all hard to win, but especially speedway races are hard to win. You got 30 guys out there vying for it, that have a legit shot to win, barring different circumstances.

There were some wrecks in front of us today. We were able to squeak through, not get caught up in it fortunately, which isn’t a whole lot of my luck here.

We’ll take this one, for sure.

I asked Randall about having a driver that maybe doesn’t overrule him on a call, but will say this is where we’re at, go against what he called. He said it was almost refreshing to have somebody like that. What does that mean to hear that from your crew chief?

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I mean, I didn’t really voice that over the radio about, Hey, we got to win, we might as well stay out and ride this thing out. I just thought it in my head.

It’s cool to work with Randall. Obviously, he gives me a lot of leeway just with my experience and stuff like that, being here.

Probably a few years ago I would have pitted and just taken the finish, whatever that might have been. We probably would have been caught up in that wreck.

But when I thought that we’d have a shot for a front row start at the end, I was like there’s no way we can pit. If we run out of gas coming off of turn two after we take the green flag, so be it.

Yeah, just go for it, roll the dice.

When Richard was in here, he said you were helping build back the organization to where it used to be. Is there an area where you feel you’ve made the biggest impact so far?

KYLE BUSCH: No, not yet. Have you watched our short track program (laughter)? It’s a struggle. We’re working on that.

I’ve always known these guys have had a good restrictor plate program. We showed that in Daytona, we were really fast. It was fun to run as quick as we did, as good as we did with Austin to try to win that. Fontana, we were super fast there, too. They had a really good car there last year. The short track stuff has been head-scratching for sure.

On my front and Randall’s front, I know we’re trying to work through what it takes to turn that around. Hopefully we can get there to make the short track stuff go our way.

Do you feel like you did anything better on a superspeedway today?


You just got lucky?

KYLE BUSCH: I got lucky, yeah (smiling).

Do you consider the Blaney-Wallace portion of that luck or do you expect that at the end of a race?

KYLE BUSCH: Well, so Bubba was pushing me on the restart. He had me squirreled up a little bit down the backstretch. Then we got separated from each other. He went back to grab whoever was behind him, brought the momentum back forward. I got out a little too far.

Off of four, Bubba was coming with a head of steam. I could have turned up to get in front of him and tried to block. I’m going to get wrecked. My stuff would not take pushes anyways. I was not going to put myself in a spot where I was going to try to take one.

I just let those guys go by and say we’ll sort it out down the backstretch and see what happens. We have four more corners to see what happens in this race, two and a half more miles.

They got to pushing real hard, and Bubba went to block. You can’t make more than one turn being pushed. By the time you make that second one, you’re wrecked.

Has there been anything noticeably different about superspeedway races when it comes to now being in the Chevy camp compared to what you had for so many years?

KYLE BUSCH: We’ve talked a lot about that. We’ve actually worked through some of that. The key partner group, had our meeting and stuff on trying to have our eight guys align and be part of the deal together.

There was a couple moments today where that really helped, being able to get down to the bottom, have those guys build a gap so you can get in line before you come to pit road. I thought our pit road execution today was really, really good. We all come in, do our deal, ride pit road, do our stops, got organized really quick. I thought the overall orchestration of that was really good.

I wouldn’t say it really materialized on the racetrack a whole lot. I saw the Toyota guys, they were I think four or five of ’em in a row on the outside towards the end of the race. We never really showed that. But there was some good cohesion.

Eight months ago at Watkins Glen you opened up about how it had been a hard year. Now two wins, a new organization, having success. What is it like to be Kyle Busch, what is your mindset now? How did you get from, maybe you’ll say it’s a dark place, but a darker place to this point? Eight months is a short period of time.

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, just having a good, strong support system. Obviously Samantha, Brexton, my family first. But then from there, having a great bunch of guys that I’m surrounded by that when Richard made comment to Randall about there being a chance I come over there, he was really pumped up about it, he was really excited about it. Petree was, as well, too. I remember Petree blowing me up for a couple weeks on phone calls.

They didn’t think that Kyle Busch was washed up or anything like that. It was really a breath of fresh air to get over there and get to work.

Trust me, I’ve probably done more, worked harder in this year than I have in the last four just because of feeling like it’s my duty, it’s my service to them to give them everything that I’ve got, absolutely everything that I’ve got, for them sticking their neck out for me at RCR.

We’re working really hard in a lot of areas. I keep pushing these guys on some stuff. I hope that it will continue to get better as we progress through the year.

I think next week is another big test for us as the RCR group statistically speaking at Dover was horrendous a year ago. Hopefully we can turn that around.

You’re among the greats, no doubt about that. I’m sure every driver has ego or self doubt. To get two wins quickly, even though you are Kyle Busch, how important is that to have come out of the gate like that as opposed to get your two wins at race 25 or 26?

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, right. No, I mean, trust me, I think I said it in Fontana, I’ll say it again: the more wins you can get, the earlier you get ’em, the better your season is going to go. The points buildup is obviously what you strive for. Winning races in the Playoffs obviously moves you through automatically to the next round. That’s a good plus, you get to carry the points late in the year too.

I’ve always looked at having strong starts to seasons, that kind of solidifying your base for the remainder of your season. Somebody told me this a long time ago, that any time you get to Charlotte, Coke 600, from there to the end of the season, points fluctuation, one or two spots barring something stupid happening. Three blown up motors in a row will hurt that. Other than that, the cycle of racing naturally, you’ll end up about the same spot.

I always like to be having a good, strong start to build that foundation.

It seems like this new Next Gen racing more preaches patience than the aggressive style. Do you think this suits you more with the more mature Kyle Busch?

KYLE BUSCH: What number Kyle are we talking about (smiling)?

2018 Kyle Busch, how does that compare and contrast to other generations you’ve raced?

KYLE BUSCH: This style is by far a lot of patience, which I don’t think the consensus within the garage area with the drivers is that we enjoy it very much. You’d like to have some areas of opportunities to where you can make some moves, cycle yourself around a little bit.

Man, when you ride around there parade formation for 10s of laps at a time, it gets a bit frustrating. You know that you can do better than that. But you pull out of the line, try to make something happen, you hit a block wall of air, go backwards.

Everybody is just the same. It’s just so equal. There’s not enough separation within everything to put on, in my opinion, good, exciting racing at the speedway races. I think there’s a bit of a struggle right now.

Can you speak a little bit on the partnership with RCR and the give-and-take in the transition?

KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, to us coming onboard and being a part of RCR for me this year, I’ve had a lot of great things so far that we’ve been able to work on and really show some positivity, show some good momentum in a direction that we need for success for this year. Then there’s just some of the other areas where we’re not really seeing the fruits of our labor yet.

Again, we’re all striving for the same thing. That’s one goal, and that’s to win. We want to see Austin get a win. Unfortunately he had some bum luck today. Want to get him in the Playoffs, as well, too.

The Xfinity program has been on fire. They’ve been super, super strong this year. That’s been fun to see. We just need to keep it going in the right way.

THE MODERATOR: Kyle, congratulations again on that win.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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