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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: BUDWEISER DUEL #2


February 19, 2015


Ryan Blaney

Kyle Busch

Danica Patrick


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA

THE MODERATOR:¬† We're joined by our second‑place finisher Kyle Busch.
Kyle, talk a little bit about your run tonight.
KYLE BUSCH:  Well, our run was pretty good there.  Bringing home a second, that just solidifies our spot for being able to start fourth come Sunday.  The M&M Camry was good.  It was out front for a lot of the early laps.
We led a bit there.  I think we might have had a miscalculation on our attack and that's why I was speeding down pit road.  I felt too fast.  I was following what I was supposed to do, I was a little off.  No biggy.  We had to go back to the back.  We were able to make our way to the front with the M&M Camry.
We got back to ninth pretty quick and from there just kind of tried to pick some more cars off, and eventually got to start there on that final restart on the front row, which was nice.
But Carl and myself just weren't going to settle for finishing second.  We both wanted to win.  I think if we could have teamed up together, we might have had a chance to pass that 48.
All is good.  (Indiscernible) girlfriend would say we're all egotistical maniacs turning left.  We weren't going to settle for less.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for Kyle.

Q.  You had that pit road speeding penalty.  Did you find out what happened?  Something wrong with the tach?
KYLE BUSCH:  I believe so.  I just said I believe our readings were off and the lights were too high.  I was speeding.  I felt too fast all the way down pit road.  Was just paying attention to what the lights were telling me.  It wasn't quite right.
We'll go back, we'll fix it.

Q.  We saw the two Hendrick cars are on the front row and two Hendrick cars won today.  How dominant are they?
KYLE BUSCH:  Yeah, as a group we probably would admit that the four house Hendrick cars are the four best cars here, then probably the 4 is right there, the 14 might be really good right after that.  There's a group of them there that are really, really quick.
What can we do to keep up?  I felt like, and my team would probably agree, we built the best stuff we possibly could to come down here with.
We're just a little off.  We would say we're the next group right behind those four, five or six cars.  As far as JGR goes, we feel we're right behind them with speed.
It's going to be hard to beat them.¬† You have to have everything go the right way, you have to have the right pushers behind you and make a slingshot move behind them.¬† You better do it fast enough so they can't block you.¬† Any runs there we had with the green‑white‑checkered weren't big enough and we weren't able to get enough momentum on the 48 to get by him.
THE MODERATOR:  Kyle, congratulations on a great finish.
KYLE BUSCH:  Thank you.
THE MODERATOR:  We've been joined by Danica Patrick, who earned her way into the Daytona 500.
Danica, a hard‑fought finish.¬† Recap your race tonight.
DANICA PATRICK:  It was all going pretty smooth until three to go, four to go.  I thought that the car was really strong.  I felt like made a couple moves here and there.  If I got shuffled back to move back into sort of the top 10, maybe a little bit better at times.
So it seemed good.  Racy.  Then, you know, it went from there.  I'm sure you all are going to ask questions about it, so I'll just let you.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll open it up for questions for Danica.

Q.  Did you feel contact from behind or did you just feel the car get loose from you from him taking the aero off you?
DANICA PATRICK:  It feels like the back gets lifted up and comes around.  It didn't feel quite as dramatic yesterday in practice.  But the same sort of thing.
Yesterday when he went to pull down low, it just pulled my bumper around, but it tracked around, I was loose.  Then it spun and wrecked, we go on to the next car.  The same thing.  Something similar happens tonight where I look in my rearview mirror and he's tight up behind me.  I can see he's staggered to my left rear, the car gets really light and spins around.  Same thing.
When we had a little chat afterwards, he told me my car was too loose, so...
That was his explanation for why the car spun.

Q.  What was going through your head when you had the crash?  Did you think you were out of the Daytona 500 at that point?  Did you know going into this race that the situation was fairly dire, given a lot of guys ahead of you in points?
DANICA PATRICK:  Holy crap, it felt dire.  This whole scenario is crazy that the series has put us in.  Actually I said yesterday, it's horrible that it's left up to other people and what they can do to you to whether or not you get in the race or not.
I was like, I just need to not get caught up in anything or have something like yesterday happen.  And the exact same thing as yesterday happened.
So it's a stressful situation.  It's fairly unfair, I feel like, based on how much is out of your hands at a track like this.  I have no doubt I'm sure it was incredibly exciting but very stressful, and what I feel is unfair.
So I knew that I needed to just finish in the top 15.  There was a million scenarios of like who does what in any race, who uses a provisional and who doesn't.  You can just drive yourself crazy thinking about all of them.
Instead of thinking about all of the stuff I need to do to just make the race, I really just wanted to focus on having a good race.  In the race, like I said, I made a few moves here and there to make progress.  I wanted to get further up to be in the thick of things.  I'm sorry, not be in the thick of things, but get in front of it, get in front of the accidents.  Luckily that paid off because a couple of them happened right behind me.
You never know when you are going to get that opportunity.  Sometimes it's double file and you have nowhere to go.  I wanted to make progress.  Everything was going fine till the end.  I felt good about it.

Q.  Denny said after your interview that was up here on the screen, Once I get close to her, her car gets out of control.  Does that indicate to you that when he get close to you, there's more of an issue he's feeling for some reason?
DANICA PATRICK:  I have no explanation for that.  I am confident other cars get very close and things like that don't happen.
Done thousands of miles of this speedway racing now and I haven't found that to be a problem.  So I just think that he's wrong.  I think that he's too close.  I think that he's taking the air and getting it off the spoiler, and he's not squared up either.  That's also part of the problem.
I don't know.  Maybe he likes my left rear.

Q.  At any point tonight, maybe after the last wreck or whatever that you were involved in, did you ever think you were not going to make the Daytona 500?
DANICA PATRICK:  Sure.  Like I said, there's a million scenarios.  At the end when they told me I need four spots or you need to pass these two cars or you're 18th right now, I was like, Okay, do I have to be desperate basically?  Do I have to pass these cars?  Nobody answered me.  I just said, Screw it, I'm going to be desperate.
Luckily it shouldn't go unsaid, Kurt was there for me.  Without Kurt, I wouldn't have finished where I did.  So a big humongous thank you to Kurt for getting behind me and pushing me to the front.

Q.  Did you feel more pressure coming into this race than any race you've ever felt pressure?
DANICA PATRICK:  Yeah, that's probably safe to say.  I think it's one thing when you're in a race and you want to do your best and have a great result.  I've by all means been nervous at times.  Probably two years ago starting on the pole, I always get more nervous the further up I start.
But this is a whole different nervous.  A lot of it has to do with the fact there's so much out of our hands as drivers.  That's my frustration.  It's one thing if it's qualifying and then you go race at a traditional track where, you know, you pass.  But this is just big pack racing where you just hope you don't get into a wreck or somebody doesn't get into you, right place at the right time.
So there's a lot of stressing out.  But there's not much you can do about it.  You just have to hope and pray for the best, be as smart as you can out there.  That's all you can do.
I will say, obviously for my team and everybody, but mostly for Go Daddy, it made me nervous, too.  This is the biggest race of the year and they need to be in it.
THE MODERATOR:  Danica, thank you for your time this afternoon.  Best of luck on Sunday.
DANICA PATRICK:  Thank you.
THE MODERATOR:  We've now been joined by Ryan Blaney.
Ryan, you earned a sixth‑place finish in the second Duel to officially compete in your first Daytona 500 on Sunday.¬† Talk a little bit about those emotions and what you anticipate Sunday to be like.
RYAN BLANEY:  It was a really smooth race for us.  Everything went our way.  We went really smooth on pit road the one time we came down.  That's really all we can ask for, try to control the things we can control.  No mistakes on pit road.
Everything else is up in the air.  You never know if you're going to get caught up in a wreck.  Luckily we were ahead of those incidents tonight like some other guys did.  Just fortunate to be in the spot where we were at.
I thought our car had a really good speed.  Tonight was all about transferring.  There was a couple opportunities I really, really wanted to drive hard and go for a win.  We had opportunities to do that.  But, like I said, the main point was the transfer tonight.  That's what we did.  Everyone did a great job.
It's just cool to be with the Wood Brothers and say we're racing Sunday.  I try not to get too worked up before races.  I tried to play it cool before I sat in the car.  Then you get nervous during pace laps.  It's just kind of nice to have all that go away.
THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for Ryan.

Q.  You tweeted now you're in the show, you can show your true muscle.  How much were you holding back?
RYAN BLANEY:  I can't tell you that (smiling).  Like I said, we had a great car.  We had really good speed in our car.  I believe all three Penske cars do.  You saw that with Brad and Joey in the first Duel and the Unlimited the other night.
Like I said, there was a couple opportunities I thought we could have went for it.  We had to pull the reins back and make sure we got in.  You definitely put that in the memory bank for Sunday, knowing what you can do, what you can't do.
I definitely think we have more in the tank.

Q.  Earlier Ty Dillon said he felt stress coming into this race.  You have a limited schedule.  Did you feel any stress coming into tonight?
RYAN BLANEY:  A little bit.  You try to play it off as much as you can before the race.  People ask you if you're nervous and everything.  You just got to, you know, say that you're ready to go.
It does make it worse a little bit.  You just don't want to think about it.  Like I said, when you strap in the racecar, it finally sets in you're about to qualify to try to make the Daytona 500 and you get a little bit nervous.  Usually once the green flag drops, all that goes away.
We were in good spots all night where we were ahead of everything that happened, fortunately.  Yeah, it's hard to not feel nervous when you're not locked in.  You don't know what can happen on these superspeedways.  It's a shame to see some of these guys not make it, Jeb and some other guys.  But fortunately we were on the right end of it and it's cool to be here.

Q.  You seem remarkably composed for a kid who just made the Daytona 500.  Deep down are your emotions running like a duck underwater?  Can you just talk about who was the first person to greet you when you got out of the car.  Was it your dad?  What did he say to you?
RYAN BLANEY:  Yeah, you know, certain people have a way of showing their emotions.  Yeah, we're really excited to be in the race.  Everybody at the Wood Brothers team, even Penske, really excited to get in.  I am, too.
I'm sure we'll kind of sit down when all of it gets over and know we're in the race, be able to reflect on that.
Yeah, my dad was kind of standing in the background.  He was probably about the 10th person to come up to the window.  It's funny, because when I do bad, he's the first person in the window.  When I do good, he's about the 10th or 15th.  Funny how it works.
It's cool to have him here.  My grandma and uncle are here, too.  It's cool to have family here.  They're all going to be here Sunday so it's great to have the whole family here, my family and the Woods.

Q.  Will you lean on your dad at all on how to handle Sunday?
RYAN BLANEY:  Yeah, we definitely talk a lot about especially superspeedway racing because you can relate a lot more between the two of us at these superspeedways, how the draft works, side drafting.  These cars are a lot different than Truck or XFINITY cars as far as the draft goes.  Different lanes do different things.
I learned a lot being up in the top six or seven all night, you learn a lot watching Jimmie, Kyle, Carl.  I learned a lot about it.  My dad has been there every step of the way and been really helpful for me.
THE MODERATOR:  Ryan, congratulations.
RYAN BLANEY:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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