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July 13, 2014

Kyle Busch

Kyle Larson


TOM BRYANT:テつ We're joined now by our third‑place finisher and the highest‑finishing rookie in today's race, Kyle Larson, driver of the No.42 Target Chevrolet.テつ Tell us about your run today, Kyle.
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, it was a good day.テつ We had some eventful parts with pit strategy and stuff.テつ Made some pretty ballsy calls to get me in the lead and then, surprised me we stayed out front because we had a lot of laps on our tires at that point and was worried about getting eaten up on that restart but was able to beat Kyle and lead a handful of laps.テつ Kind of maintained our track position from then on.テつ We had a really good car I thought, definitely a top‑10, top‑eight car and then everything kind of worked out that last restart for me to line up sixth, which I thought was a really good spot to be in.テつ I got lucky with Jeff running out of fuel so I could line up sixth, because if I would've been on the inside, I probably would've went backwards.テつ So it all worked out and got a top‑three finish today.テつ Have to keep these good runs going after our bad three weeks we've had in a row now.テつ Really happy about how today went, and have an off weekend and get back going again somewhere else.テつ I don't know where we're at next.

Q.テつ Indy.
KYLE LARSON:テつ Indy?テつ I like Indy.

Q.テつ Kyle, you had those three bad runs.テつ What does this do for the 42 team and yourself?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, you know, it's a shame we've had those three bad runs because we've been a really good car, we've just had a lot of bad luck, power steering issues at Sonoma, right front at Kentucky and then typical Daytona.テつ Yeah, I mean, we were up to tied for seventh in points before Sonoma and fell back to 18th.テつ It really had us scratch our heads and praying to get some good finishes again, and now hopefully we've turned it around and can start getting some consistent finishes again.

Q.テつ Was Morgan Shepherd in your way at all today?テつ He was 15 laps down.テつ He took out Joey Logano when he was running second.
KYLE LARSON:テつ I never had a problem with him, but I felt really bad for Joey.テつ I didn't see what happened, but I figured when they were both tore up he had to have gotten into him.テつ It's a shame.テつ He's just out there trying to have some fun just like we all are.テつ I don't know.

Q.テつ How much of an advantage was it for you to have that track position and clean air as opposed to 10th on back with a good car but with dirty air?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, I noticed when we made that call to get in the lead, I noticed clean air was a decent help, not as much as other racetracks because we aren't carrying as much speed, but when I was back in traffic I thought I was a little bit looser off the corners than I was when I was in the lead.
Yeah, I mean, clean air helps anywhere you're at, whether it's Martinsville or Daytona.

Q.テつ It seems like you and Kyle Busch have put on some good shows for racing for position.テつ Would it be safe to say that you guys have a nice little rivalry going on right now?
KYLE LARSON:テつ I wouldn't say it's a rivalry.テつ We just somehow are always finishing by each other.テつ It seems like I'm usually one spot behind him (laughing), but it'll change soon.テつ It'll change soon.
TOM BRYANT:テつ We're now joined by our second‑place finisher, Kyle Busch of the driver of the No.18 Interstate Batteries Toyota.テつ Tell us about your run today.
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Well, it was good.テつ You know, we started out early obviously qualifying on the pole, leading some laps there, and felt like we had a good car, but late in the runs it would just seem like I was burning up the front tires a little too much, and those guys were able to get by me and I could somewhat maintain with them, but then throughout the race we just really couldn't make any adjustments that would help the race car.テつ Just seemed like we kept making adjustments that would either keep it the same or screw up something else but help something else, so you were always kind of running the same lap time.テつ It never really gained any speed.テつ It was just a little bit easier to drive in the beginning part of the race, and a little bit there at the end, saving fuel and whatnot, just trying to bide our time as much as we could and make sure we were easy on that gas pedal, just trying to make to the end.
Had a late caution there that we probably should have pitted, but we had that win, so you'll do stupid things with that opportunity when it presents itself, and we stayed out, and lo and behold, it worked for us.テつ We ended up coming home second today, running out right at the start‑finish.テつ Perfect time.

Q.テつ You battled with Brad yesterday, as well.テつ Did you have anything for him today?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Oh, no.テつ No, I don't think anybody did.テつ Denny was the best Gibbs car, so he probably had a better shot at him than any of us did, but it seemed like he stalled out in third there on that last run trying to get up there.テつ We started so far back, I think we were 11th and 12th or something like that on that restart there with that long run, and Denny made some good ground.テつ I couldn't do that.
But unfortunately they felt like they were too short and had to pit.

Q.テつ What were you thinking when that caution came out?テつ I know you made it right at the checkered.テつ What were you thinking when the caution came out?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Well, I never really know how close we are, so that's probably a good thing being a little bit dumb and not knowing, so Dave asked me, he goes, "Man, we're close, what do you want to do here?テつ Do you want to gamble and stay out?"テつ And I was like, "Yeah, hell, might as well."テつ Restarting back there in all that traffic, you can get bottled up in a wreck or something else.テつ If it goes one green‑white‑checkered, you're golden, but if it goes more than that you're going to be screwed basically.テつ Thankfully it only went one and we made it but we didn't have to pit.
It helped us, and if we would have run out coming off Turn 4, we may have been 4th or 5th instead of wherever the heck Denny is.

Q.テつ Denny just mentioned that JGR as a whole, your short‑track program has really increased over the years.テつ Can you talk about that?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Well, we'd actually say it's decreased.テつ Last year and the early part of this year, Martinsville, Richmond, I'd say that our short‑track program has decreased unfortunately.テつ You know, we haven't seen the 11 and the 18 winning as many short tracks like we used to be so dominant at, and Denny went and did a test for us at Richmond last week for Goodyear and learned some things that he brought here, and so today was just a true testament to teamwork, and what we did with our race car was somewhat try to mirror what the 11 was doing this weekend and put some of their stuff in.テつ Real proud of the effort there that we had somewhat similar race cars, all three of us did for that matter, I think we were second, third, fourth for a part of the race because there was only one car that was lights‑out on the rest.

Q.テつ How much would you say that you've noticed some of the strength coming back to Joe Gibbs Racing this past season?テつ I know you said the short‑track program in your opinion has decreased, but it seems like you've made some ground up on the Hendrick Chevys and the Penske Fords.
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, this weekend here was a positive.テつ Like I said, Denny made a test and we were a little bit better at Kentucky.テつ We made some changes to our race car and got better and were able to finish second there, as well.テつ The last two races for us we've been second, but it would be nice to get up there and lead some more laps, be a little bit more dominant and show that we've got a little bit better car than where we're running.テつ We'll get there hopefully.テつ It's not quite time to get ready to have to go for the Chase, but it's about that time, so we've got a few weeks.

Q.テつ Running up front today did you notice a problem with Morgan Shepherd?テつ He took out Joey, 15 laps down when he did that?テつ Was he a problem for you and other drivers up front?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ You know, it seemed like he had a hard time holding the bottom of the racetrack a little bit, but that's sometimes to be expected.テつ It's so flat down there.テつ But there were other lap cars that were just rolling around on the top and not getting into anybody's way really.テつ I'm not sure what happened with the Joey thing.テつ I didn't see it at all.テつ There were not‑so‑prime times that I caught him and had to go around him, but fortunately everything was fine with me.

Q.テつ Following up on the question you were asked previously, given the gains you guys have made, your pole run here, how does this bode for September for your team do you think?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Well, everything is kind of changing as we go here this season.テつ It seems like things are kind of this way or that way on the given weekends, but there's been some cars that have had some really, really fast cars all year‑round.テつ We're not quite there.テつ We have gotten some good finishes, though, but we haven't led the laps we want to be leading.テつ We haven't been such dominant forces that we were last year.テつ At this time last year Kenseth and myself and the races that Denny was able to make, we led a lot of laps.テつ Unfortunately we just haven't quite seen that yet this year.
Trying to get better, and once we do, I think everybody will see, and you'll start hearing the name JGR a little bit more.

Q.テつ You said that the short‑track program has decreased, you're heading into Indianapolis in two weeks.テつ How do you feel about the superspeedway program?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Well, it's sort of a short‑track thing, too.テつ You have to have a short‑track setup but with a superspeedway body essentially.テつ You've got to carry a lot of speed down the straightaways, but you also have to have a big horsepower motor and get down them straightaways quick.テつ We tested there a couple weeks ago.テつ We weren't as fast as we wanted to be, but we were better than other cars that were at the test, so we've got something to look forward to but yet know that hopefully we can zone in on where some more speed is at.
TOM BRYANT:テつ Thank you, Kyle.

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