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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400


October 5, 2014


Kyle Busch

Kyle Larson


KANSAS CITY, KANSAS

KRISTI KING:テつ We're joined here by our second‑place finisher Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet, who's also our top‑finishing rookie here today at Kansas.テつ Talk about your run out there today and that awesome second‑place finish.
KYLE LARSON:テつ We were good all weekend long.テつ The first run we started off pretty loose because we were deep in the pack but once it all spread apart we were able to pass some cars and get up into the top seven, I think, before the first caution.テつ There was some crazy restarts near the beginning.テつ We almost got collected in a couple of them, I guess, and missed those and was able to keep working on our car and got it better and better.テつ Surprised the groove moved up as high as it did.テつ That was a lot of fun for me.テつ I think it helped me go as good as I did because I'm not much of a bottom feeder.
It was a good race.テつ I thought me and Joey were dead even there at the end.テつ It was hard for me to gain on him.テつ We would go within a hundredth of each other it seemed like on every lap.テつ I was able to close on him at one point, but just couldn't do anything.テつ The bottom was a lot slower than the top, so I had to kind of follow him and hope he made a mistake.テつ He almost made one mistake there with seven to go and then he got back into rhythm.テつ Good finish.テつ We'll get some wins here soon hopefully before the end of the year, and I think once we get one, we should be up here more often as a winner.

Q.テつ Talk about there at the end of the race; seemed like when you got close to him it would take the nose off, take the air off.テつ Do you think that was the disadvantage once you did get close to him?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, I stayed within probably six or seven car lengths for 10 to 12 laps, and once I got closer, I got pretty loose, so I was trying to run even closer to the wall to get some of that air out of my rear spoiler.テつ It was still too loose.テつ I don't think there was anything I could have done there at the end to get any closer than I did.

Q.テつ With this being the 21st time you've finished the top rookie here in the 2014 season, I wonder what that means for you and your race team?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, it means a lot.テつ That's kind of a goal we set out each week is to be the highest‑finishing rookie and to be in the top 10, and the way we've been running, we want to be in the top 5 now every week.テつ We've beat Austin quite a bit in that.テつ We've got a pretty sizable point lead in the Rookie of the Year.テつ I hope I can pull it off.テつ I don't see why I wouldn't.テつ It would be a great award for me.

Q.テつ It looked like you were really able to close in later laps.テつ Would you attribute that to a good setup, or was that all a part of the game plan?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ Like I said, I thought we were pretty even and I was able to gain a half a tenth of a lap there towards the end, and once I got within four car lengths, I couldn't really do much about it.テつ I thought we were evenly matched.テつ He was better than I was on the short runs but then I would get going after three or four laps, and then, like I said, we'd be pretty even.

Q.テつ Question about tires, and specifically, it seemed like there was‑‑ I wouldn't say a plague but there was a pattern of blown tires throughout the race.テつ What were you witnessing?テつ What was your team contending with, and how did you get by without blowing a tire?
KYLE LARSON:テつ I guess just a good setup.テつ We did two right tires only, so we had double stint on our left, and they said before that last one that we had a blister on our left front, so it's good that that caution came out because it probably would have bit us soon.
But there's really nothing, at least I don't think we can do, as drivers to take care of our front‑left tire.テつ It's kind of at the mercy of when it goes, and we were lucky enough not to have tire issues.

Q.テつ You've talked a lot about what you and your team may have done if you were in the Chase, but when you look at how you're performing here towards the end of the season and you look back at the start of the year, what do you attribute the biggest difference?テつ Is it simply experience?テつ Is it second time on the track, or what do you think the gains have been for yourself?
KYLE LARSON:テつ Yeah, I think it's a little bit of experience, second time at the track, and a lot of these tracks in the Chase are one of my best tracks, so I think that's why we've been running really well.テつ Yeah, just got to keep it going.テつ I think Charlotte is another mile‑and‑a‑half, so we should hopefully be pretty good there.テつ We had a couple tire issues there the last race is why we didn't finish very well, and then Texas‑‑ Phoenix I even kind of like, and Homestead should be a good one.テつ Martinsville is probably the worst track on the schedule, so don't expect much there, but anything can happen at Talladega, too.
Yeah, if I can just make the Chase, I'd have a lot of fun because these are some of my favorite tracks.

Q.テつ Kyle, if you look back to the very start of the season and what you hoped you could accomplish, are you anywhere close to where you wanted to be, or is it still that victory that you need to fulfill all your wishes for this year?
KYLE LARSON:テつ No, I definitely feel like I've been running a lot better than what I thought I would to start the season, but I thought I would make the Chase, too.テつ A little bit disappointed there, but I've been finishing better than I thought I would have, so happy about that.テつ But just missed that one goal that we had before the season started.
Yeah, like I said, just got to keep it going.
I think midpoint through the season, I noticed I was running better than what our goals were and raised those goals into top 10s, and now the way we've been running, we want to be top 5 every week.テつ Just got to keep it going.
KRISTI KING:テつ Thank you very much.テつ Congratulations on your run today.
We are now joined by our third‑place finisher, Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's Toyota in today's Hollywood Casino 400.テつ Kyle, win yesterday, third‑place finish today, good runs for you here at Kansas.テつ Talk a little bit about your couple of days.
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, no doubt.テつ It was definitely good.テつ I won today, I just didn't get champaign and a trophy.テつ To get through Kansas feels nice.テつ It was just a solid day, solid weekend as a matter of fact coming here with a good car and the guys did a great job listening to my feedback and what I thought I needed in my race car, and we worked on things.テつ Really helps when we learn something through qualifying and then from there we just used that the rest of the weekend and really made good time and good adjustments and good things from practice into the race, all through the race today.テつ So M&M's bunch, Dave Rogers, all those guys deserve a lot of credit.

Q.テつ Other than finishing third here and winning at Auto Club Speedway, any similarities with the other people having tire problems?テつ You apparently didn't have any tire problems.
KYLE BUSCH:テつ I don't know.テつ I don't know what those guys were having issues with.テつ I don't know if they were all lefts or rights or what.テつ But for us, like we didn't have any issues like California.テつ We didn't have any issues there, either.テつ Could just be we know lower air pressure is always faster but it's more abusive on the tire, definitely causes a lot more heat, stresses the tire more and sometimes you take some chances and it bites you.テつ We were smart about all that and we had a good enough car that would maintain good speed throughout a run and got third.

Q.テつ Next week we go to Charlotte, and you are astounding at Charlotte.テつ What is the challenge at Kansas Speedway that isn't a challenge at Charlotte Motor Speedway?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ I think you're going to see the same challenges at Charlotte next week, also.テつ This place here I would say weathered change, whatever, the surface was definitely a lot more friendlier today.テつ You could race it a little bit better.テつ You could slide around some without just busting your butt and you could move around the racetrack.テつ The wall came in today.テつ Who would have ever thought?テつ That was a lot of fun.テつ I love it when you're able to move around and get away from people and get your own air on your car and not be stuck in the wake of the guy in front of you.テつ That was good for us, and then there at the end didn't have near the speed those front cars did.テつ I wish we did in order to battle it out and get a win here, but we'll take what we got.

Q.テつ Even though a third place isn't a win, it's still pretty good as far as points go, so next week in Charlotte and for the rest of the round, how much less pressure is there on you an your race team?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ I don't think there's any less pressure.テつ You can have any issue like these guys all had any week.テつ That's what fickle about this racing business is that it's never guaranteed.テつ You've always got to run to the end, so Charlotte next week, though, I love that place, love going there, having good runs.テつ Hopefully our test that we did a couple weeks ago is good for us, that we're able to have a fast race car there, as well, and again, just keep knocking away these top 10s, top 5s, and like I say, you go to Talladega and you've got to just see where things stack up at the end of the day.テつ We'll play it out as it goes and see where it stacks.

Q.テつ Yesterday after the Nationwide race you referred to the track as getting snotty.テつ Did the track turn out to be what you anticipated?テつ Were you able to kind of get it dialed in, and how were the conditions today as to what you expected from running yesterday?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, happy hour was definitely‑‑ the racetrack got really black and really slick and you were kind of fighting things more so than today.テつ I think today it allowed more racing grooves so people were more all the way over the racetrack, and so the racetrack wasn't necessarily as hot maybe, but I could be wrong.テつ I think the track temp was probably up today with just a hotter ambient temperature.テつ It was better than I expected it to be.テつ Whether that's ins and outs that race cars make during practice versus the constant pace of just racing laps around a racetrack in a race, I don't know, but there was definitely a difference in the way the tire rubber seemed to adhere to the track yesterday versus today.テつ Wasn't as snotty as I would have expected.テつ When you're loose and tight and sliding all over the place it's definitely no fun.テつ When you're gripped up you feel good.テつ We had just enough here today to get us a good finish.

Q.テつ Your road at this track has been so difficult.テつ Were you looking over the last 20 laps for a plane to fall from the sky and hit you or something else weird to happen considering all you've been through?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, it was happening.テつ I think we got our motor too hot there through the middle part of the race and there in the end she was heaving a little smoke in the cab and it was starting to get hot again, also.テつ Fortunately the race wasn't too much longer, we made it, and we've got to thank the TRD guys.テつ They did a great job.テつ At Chicago they gave us a good motor, Dover was a good motor, here felt good, and they've made some gains.テつ So real impressed there.テつ But we still need more, and to be better and same underneath the‑‑ all four tires.テつ We've got to have a better suspension program, too, in order to get ourselves a little bit faster, as well.

Q.テつ Yesterday you won the Nationwide race.テつ What were some of the things that you learned that translated over to the Sprint Cup race today?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Just what to do and the different lines that you're running around the racetrack and how to make your car do different things that you were fighting with it.テつ So those things I used today whether I was running the bottom or the middle or the top and yesterday the top wasn't there in the Nationwide race, so you didn't have that going for you, and those guys, man, they went up to the top early in the race, and I was like, whoa.テつ I had to get up there eventually and try to start figuring it out and it was pretty late in the game by the time I did.テつ I don't know if that helped us or what because the other guys seemed to blow tires and we didn't.テつ But all in all, a good day and a good weekend.

Q.テつ Rumor has it that there was a sound or a feel of this tire I think when they ran it at Michigan.テつ I know you didn't have any tire problems, but have you ever sensed anything like that, some kind of chatter or something in this tire that they ran here today?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, no doubt.テつ This tire is so peaky, we talked about it yesterday.テつ If you look at the tire graph, essentially what happens is the grip of the tire goes up, goes up, goes up, peaks and then comes back down, so when you over slip the tire and you come on the downside of it, you're wrecking.テつ It's out of control.
A bunch of the other tires that we have at other places we go to, it comes up to a peak and then kind of plateaus and flattens out so you can slip the car but still maintain a grip.テつ That's just why here you feel that chatter when you are too tight mostly.テつ Sometimes you can be loose and actually feel a rear chatter, and those are the occasions of calling the tow truck.

Q.テつ With the reset in the Chase and you having a much better race and some of the other contenders kind of not having quite as good a race, how do you feel that that sets you up for the remainder of the Chase?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ It's early.テつ Anything can happen.テつ Like I said before, I mean, racing is a fickle business.テつ I can go next week and have the same issues.テつ We can have something other than what they had happen to us and put us in a bad spot.テつ We just don't need that.テつ We just need to go next week, have a good week at Charlotte, finish top 10, top 5 if we can, and take a win, sure, but first things first; let's get to finishing top 5 and racing these guys for wins and then we'll go start shooting for wins.
Like I said, another solid week will put us in a good position going to Talladega where guys that had a bad week this week and if they have a good week next week they're still going to be behind us and leaves our situation better come Talladega.

Q.テつ Not too long ago you were in Kyle Larson's position, you were the young hot shot.テつ What do you think of him on the track now?テつ How do you feel about his driving?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Awesome.テつ I think Larson is a great addition to the Sprint Cup Series.テつ I think he's got a lot of talent.テつ We knew that coming up.テつ We knew it wasn't going to be a long road before he got here.テつ That's why he's in the seat he's in.テつ As a matter of fact, I asked Chip if he's the one that found him or if we need to blame somebody else for bringing him here.テつ The kid has done a good job.テつ He's got a good head on his shoulders.テつ He's fun to race around.テつ He's a hard racer, too.テつ He sometimes don't give you a whole lotta room, but when he knows to give you room, he gives you room too.テつ It's been fun to see him learn this year.テつ I mean, I'd like to see him finishing behind us a little more often, but he has already this year.テつ He's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
KRISTI KING:テつ Congratulations on a great race, and good luck next weekend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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