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November 24, 2015

Kyle Busch

Daytona, Florida

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today's teleconference. We are joined by our 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Crispy M&M's Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Only nine months removed from suffering a broken right leg and left foot in an accident at Daytona, Busch won at Homestead Miami Speedway to capture the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.

Busch and his brother Kurt join Terry and Bobby Labonte as the only brothers to earn NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles. Kyle, I know it's been a whirlwind past 48 hours, winning your first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and flying to New York for a national media tour. How does it feel to deliver both Toyota and M&M's their first driver championship at this level and be able to celebrate it on a national stage?

KYLE BUSCH: It's been truly remarkable, and such an amazing experience. You never really dream exactly what it is going to be like, you just always dream of being able to accomplish the feat, and to have that opportunity with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing and M&M's and everyone that's been a part of my career throughout the years is really exciting for me and my family, my wife Samantha and my son Brexton. It's truly been a whirlwind 48 hours, but so excited to just be in this position and to have this opportunity.

Q. I was curious if there was anything in the last 48 hours that just kind of made this whole thing kind of sink in for you.
KYLE BUSCH: There's been a few moments. Sometimes when you see the highlight reel rundown and you kind of hear the call of the end of the race and what that was like, and then of course to hear some comments made by Joe Gibbs or Adam Stevens and all of that, you know, it sort of definitely sets a bit of a spark in your nose. You kind of get that tingle of a tear almost, and it's definitely been such a cool experience, but yet to hear such the things being described and said and the feelings and emotions from the other people, you know, it kind of sets it off for you. It's going to be an interesting banquet week with even more of that kind of going on. So it's going to be fun to tackle that.

Q. And I also wanted to check, do you have a date for your foot surgery yet, and what type of recovery do you know will you have? Will you have to stay off of it for a certain amount of time or anything like that?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I'm not exactly sure yet when it's going to be, if it's the week after the banquet or the following week after that. So I think it might be the 14th or 15th. And when I get the foot surgery done, I haven't heard exactly how long I'm supposed to be off of that, but the doctor made it seem as if once the plates and screws come out, I'll be able to walk on it right away. It'll be to rehab to make sure that all the joints that have been immobilized for the last nine months, we get them kind of woken back up in a smooth fashion and break it in let's say. And then the leg, though, you know, I'm going to be down for probably they said about four weeks with the leg. Just having to re go through the knee and to cut the knee open again in order to pull the rod out, that's going to be the most traumatic part and just having that have to heal and go back together and let the muscle get back together, and of course the tendon, as well, too.

Q. And will you have both of those on the same day?
KYLE BUSCH: I'm trying to get them organized where I can get the doctors to do it on the same day, yes. I have yet to have heard that that is confirmed, and I'm waiting for them to tell me whether or not what we're doing. It should be one of those two days, though.

Q. With your truck championship that you won as an owner on Friday night, is this about where you expected your team to be five years after you founded it? And if not, what kind of timetable when you started out were you hoping your team would be in terms of growth after five years?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I definitely feel like we're in a really good position with where we're at. I certainly had hope that Kyle Busch Motorsports XFINITY program that we started two years ago would have been something that would have been a little bit more successful than what it was. We did score a win and we did have some solid finishes down towards the end of the year, but it just didn't quite seem right, and it was just really hard to continue to compete with those guys that are at the Joe Gibbs Racing team or the Penske Racing team on the XFINITY side.

So it was best for us to it was really expensive for us to try to keep up with those guys, so we opted out and just stuck with the trucks.

To have three Truck Series teams, I think that's good. I mean, we could be four, but I've still got to be able to get the third team up and running and as good as I want it to be with crew chief and leadership and team and people and everything like that. I feel really good with where we're at with the two, with Rudy Fugle and Jerry Baxter being the two crew chiefs on those two trucks, and I'm looking forward to this upcoming season with a bunch of our young drivers hopefully being able to go out and race for wins.

Q. With the XFINITY Series possibly going to the Chase format next year, what are your thoughts on it? Do you think they should do something like the old Chase format, keep it the same, or maybe do the current Chase format?
KYLE BUSCH: I'm not exactly sure what my opinion would be of it. Obviously with the Chase format changing over the years, I think there's different opportunities to race in different fashions in order to score championships. I do feel as though it's necessary to still keep some sort of integrity, and maybe that was the point of the first Chase format where you do have to average through 10 races rather than just having it come down to three races at a time.

You know, but all in all, I feel like it would be more exciting in the NASCAR XFINITY Series to change to some sort of a Chase format and have more guys eligible down towards the end of the season, but I still think you're going to see the same championship caliber drivers contend for that championship when it comes down to the final race in Homestead.

Q. With Monster Energy going to Kurt's Cup team next year, are you going to be able to continue to run in the XFINITY Series?
KYLE BUSCH: Those plans are being worked out right now. We're going to try to continue to run in the XFINITY Series next year, yes. It's looking as though it'll be somewhere around 15 or 18 races, and it will not be in the Monster Energy car, it'll be something else, so we'll hope to be able to come up with all of that here soon so we can get the announcement out and to everybody.

Q. Have you been able to, with everything as you know, it's been a whirlwind, kind of been able to soak in a moment, hey, I won a title, and kind of reflect, or have you been caught up in doing one thing after another with the obligations that are in place?
KYLE BUSCH: Well, it's definitely caught up with everyone saying "champion" or calling me "champ" or introducing me as the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. I've heard it a lot this week, and it's really, really awesome to hear that. I'm pumped and couldn't be more elated, certainly, but there's been some moments, too, where I've sent text messages to Adam or to my wife and just sent them some words of what it's all been about and how we're a championship family. It's definitely something that is pretty awesome, and I look forward to being able to get back to Charlotte, North Carolina, and spend Thanksgiving with all of them and then go celebrate in Las Vegas and have a really good time there.

Q. We spoke with some of the drivers even over this past year, and what they're saying is these new cars have lost so much downforce because no more all metal cars but have plastic. Do you see problems continuing on like this, like even for next year?
KYLE BUSCH: No, I don't. You know, we certainly do still carry some metal in our race cars. The sides are metal and the roof is metal and stuff like that. The bumpers, front and rear, the hood and the deck lid, they are all a carbon composite material that makes the shape easier to shape in the way that the different manufacturers have their cars.

You know, it's definitely something that the drivers have been asking for, actually, with the lower downforce so we can continue to put more emphasis on the drivers and less on the cars and the engine package of how fast these race cars actually go around the racetrack.

You know, us drivers as a whole, I hope I speak for the whole group, but we feel as though heading in this direction is a better thing for our sport, and we continue to evolve the cars for that less downforce, and Goodyear will also continue to evolve their tires in order to help give us the grip back through the tire, and then us teams have to be able to maintain that grip in the tire throughout our chassis settings and everything in order to maintain a fast speed throughout an entire race run.

Q. Can you comment on your outlook and expectations for your truck team next season, more specifically your thoughts on how Christopher Bell performed this season, and kind of what was it that caught your eye to want to bring William Byron into the KBM fold?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to the Kyle Busch Motorsports truck team next year. I'm definitely optimistic that we could have a decent year. I'm certainly not expecting any of them to contend for a championship, although they may. They may surprise me, and that's fine, no problem.

But William Byron certainly caught our eye with his success that he's had over just the short period of time he's been in a race car the last couple of seasons, and of course being able to go out and win the K&N Series championship his first year out. He's really done a remarkable job, and we're excited to work with Liberty University as well as William and his family, so I'm hoping that that all goes well.

And as far as Christopher Bell, I think that he ran reasonably well. I'm sure he learned a ton. I've definitely talked to him a little bit here and there about his experiences thus far this year in the Truck Series races that he ran. As far as running on dirt, that was all we expected him to do, so that was pretty cool for him to get that first one out of the way.

But now moving him to pavement and especially moving him to the mile and a half races and to Daytona as his first race next year, we've got to make sure that I and we give them the best opportunity to succeed with equipment as well as with myself and just being able to communicate with them and talk to them and give them everything that they need to lean on me and ask me all the questions that they can in order to have everything they need to be prepared for each week.

THE MODERATOR: Kyle, we really appreciate you joining us today, and congratulations again on an incredible season.

KYLE BUSCH: Thank you very much. No problem.

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