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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: QUAKER STATE 400 PRESENTED BY ADVANCED AUTO PARTS


July 11, 2015


Joe Gibbs

Adam Stevens


SPARTA, KENTUCKY

MODERATOR:テつ We'll hear from our winning car owner, and that is coach Joe Gibbs.テつ Coach, not only did you win the race, but all four of your cars were inside the Top 5 here at Kentucky Speedway.テつ And that's a ‑‑ a know you've been in athletics all your life, that's pretty good.テつ But talk about certainly Kyle getting that second win tonight and the rest of your team certainly performed well and maybe your take on just how this new package performed out there tonight.
JOE GIBBS:テつ Well I think first of all I want to say that as everybody here knows, our big Camry center here is in Kentucky, Georgetown, so a lot of our Toyota people are here and really appreciate them, they deserve a lot of this credit certainly, so it's a thrill for to us come to this part of the country.テつ I thought the fans and everybody here are so nice and they're so passionate about their racing.テつ So I really appreciate that.
For us tonight, yeah, it's a first for us to get 4 in the Top 5 like that.テつ As everybody here knows, as you guys following the sport, for about a year and a half we had a tough time on mile and a half, intermediate tracks.テつ And so I think a lot of credit and Adam will probably second this, goes to our all the guys back home.テつ The aero department, the engineering group, the fab shop, all those guys working so hard and we have been hard paced trying to catch up.テつ And I think we worked extremely hard and hopefully tonight is a sign that we have caught back up with everybody at intermediate tracks.テつ A thrill for us, I think it's a great story for Kyle, obviously.テつ To come back in four months and win a road race and then to come back and win here, I think that's just, it's a greats sports story, it says a lot about his determination, his passion, the way he came back from that injury.テつ I'm not sure many people could have done that.テつ It says a lot about his mental toughness, too.テつ I think he is mentally tough and physically tough.テつ And so I think that showed up tonight.
So, big night for us, M&M's, just really called all the family from the winners circle and said to them, just thanks for letting ‑‑ for them letting us do this.テつ As everybody knows, they have been in the sport now 26 years.テつ They love this sport.テつ They're a big part of it.テつ And we're thrilled to be on their team and like I said, lord blessed us with a great night.
MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.テつ And Adam Stevens, congratulations on this win here tonight.テつ Second win this season.テつ Just talk about you didn't get any practice in on Wednesday and you didn't get any practice in on Thursday.テつ And got some practice in yesterday.テつ But just talk about how this team responded, rose up to the challenge and won this race here tonight.
ADAM STEVENS:テつ Yeah, it was just an exceptional weekend for us.テつ We unloaded with a lot of unknowns, like everybody else did.テつ We did a lot of homework.テつ There's a lot of smart people at Joe Gibbs Racing that dedicate their lives to making these cars go fast.テつ And they certainly did it this weekend and with this new package and that was a pleasure to see.テつ As Joe touched on.テつ But the limited practice time, that didn't really bother me much, just because I knew we were all in the same boat.テつ And I knew that our ace in the hole was Kyle Busch.テつ I figured if I could just get him out there on the track at all we would have a shot to win it.テつ But we did make use of the little bit of time we had and were able to get the car good.テつ It wasn't great, but it was good.テつ Thanks to his good information we made some good changes for the race and definitely had a Top 2 car and had a good race there with The 2 until they had a couple issues.テつ But it was I think the team that made the least amount of mistakes on top of having just a competitive car was going to win this race and that's what happened tonight.
MODERATOR:テつ Take questions now, please.

Q.テつ Joe, you said after Kyle won his first race that the journey to Top‑30 in points was not going to be an easy task.テつ Obviously there's going to be a lot of people, after he's won a second race who are going to make it seem like it's, like he does a lot in his career make it seem like it might be easier than it is.テつ Do you still see it as being a difficult road ahead for him to make The Chase?
JOE GIBBS:テつ Well, I do, because in our sport, as I said, we have already seen some crazy things happen.テつ You can break apart, that's part of our sport.テつ You can have a freak shower on the fourth turn at Michigan and cost you a whole race.テつ Think about all the things that can happen in a race like tonight, how many times you just miss hitting somebody or just miss a wreck.テつ So, I pointed to the fact that last year we know how hard Kyle races and he was a little bit over 17th average, so I do think it's extremely hard and but we just got to be prepared every week to go after it as hard as we can.テつ I think Kyle takes the approach that he's just, he's not going to back off.テつ He's very aggressive and he's going to go for it.テつ And that's what he did tonight.テつ He wasn't looking for second.テつ And so it's a big deal for us to have a driver like that.テつ Adam making all the calls.テつ Our guys on pit road, it really is a total team effort.テつ And it also includes everybody back at the race shop.テつ So, a big deal for us, I do think it's very hard, I think it will still be a hard, tough road for us.テつ I think we're 90 something, I don't know what it is.テつ That's a lot of points.
MODERATOR:テつ You're 87 points out
JOE GIBBS:テつ 87, well that's better.テつ Yeah.テつ It's looking better.テつ I tell Kyle we only need three more of these, we'll be okay.
(Laughter.)

Q.テつ Adam, one of the main ideas with this package was kind of to put the racing more back into the hands of the drivers and the crew chiefs with strategy calls.テつ Tonight was there any more pressure on you as a crew chief?テつ Did it affect the way that you had to call strategy throughout the race?
ADAM STEVENS:テつ It did.テつ It certainly was going to get big there at the end if we had a caution.テつ I think I was praying harder for no caution than about anybody on this earth those last 30 or 40 laps.
Because it puts you in a bad spot.テつ But the cool thing about this package is the cars don't punch as big a hole in the air.テつ So you don't lose the nose as bad when you're racing guys.テつ Saw a lot of guys race side by side and swap positions and maybe not get clear and drift up behind them and they didn't fall six or eight or 10 car lengths back, they were still there wasn't racing distance.テつ And I think that that's the advantage this package has right now.テつ Now whether that advantage is still there, we get three or four or five races deep with it and everybody figures it out a little bit more, I don't know.テつ But the surface lends itself to that too.テつ The groove opened up really wide, which was fun.テつ Gave the drivers a lot of options.テつ From the word go, everybody was slipping a little bit.テつ It makes you work hard.テつ I think that favors the guys that can truly drive race cars and Kyle Busch is one of those guys.

Q.テつ Coach, you're not the mechanic, you're not the engineer, you're the car owner.テつ How quickly did your organization convince you that the changes NASCAR was putting up could lead to Victory Lane, could lead to very positive running for your teams?
JOE GIBBS:テつ Yeah, I think for me basically in the background, you're right, I think Adam's glad I'm not a mechanic, so‑‑ but I think I could really do this.テつ But I'm a ‑‑ I prefer to leave it with them
(Laughter.)
But I think what our drivers and everybody really kind of consistently across the sport has been saying, this is the package they wanted less downforce.テつ And the thing I thought tonight was really great is we saw the two car go all the way to the back, comeback to the front.テつ The 11 car went all the way to the back, came all the way to the front.テつ I think that we saw a lot of passing, I think the racing was ‑‑ I felt like it was really improved.テつ Adam is right, it will be interesting to see when everybody kind of starts really working on this.テつ But I do think we're headed in a good direction.テつ So, I think it was very positive for this package and I think that's ‑‑ I think that will be what the fans say.テつ That's going to be interesting.テつ When we get the radio calls and everything that's going to happen but I would be willing to say you guys will probably hear from a lot of fans and I'll be surprised if it's not positive.

Q.テつ Adam, a lot of drivers are talking about how they want it take away the driver adjustable track bar and that's really, along with the soft tires the next step NASCAR needs to look at.テつ Do you want that responsibility back in your hands as the crew chief to be able to do that instead of the drivers?
ADAM STEVENS:テつ From my personal perspective, it doesn't make any difference.テつ I do think it could potentially make the racing a little bit better.テつ You know, you're making people stick another wrench in the glass to make that adjustment and you do that and you make mistakes sometimes.テつ And that shakes up the running order.
If you're out there on the track and the balance is getting away from you, you don't have very many tools at your disposal.テつ So taking away a tool from the driver will inherently make it more competitive.テつ You just can't dial yourself in if the balance is getting away from you.

Q.テつ Coach, it seems like we're moving closer and closer towards having track specific rules for each track.テつ We're trying out Kentucky and darling to know.テつ We're going to take a different package to I understand Indianapolis and Michigan and so there's some concern that that might add an extra cost to the ownership side.テつ I know that NASCAR consulted with all you guys before going this direction, but is this something that you're comfortable with as an owner.
JOE GIBBS:テつ Yeah, I think that the owner, from an owner's standpoint what's best for us is for the fans to be excited about our racing.テつ We need them in the stands and we need them on TV watching and list I think on radio.テつ So for us and this package I don't think it was a big, it's not a big expense, this package isn't.テつ It's fairly simple for us.テつ So, but I think that the overall concern for all of us is to do what's right for our fans.テつ Now, I think we're going to try another package and I applaud NASCAR.テつ There's going to be two packages we're going to try and we'll kind of see what happens.テつ But I think it's, it was bold on their part and I think tonight panned out for us to have a good race and it worked out great for us and I think in the future I think you're going to really see, I think NASCAR's after it.テつ I think they want ‑‑ they really want to help the racing.テつ So, it's a big deal for us and I think ‑‑ I applaud what they're doing and I thought tonight was good.テつ Stan, I appreciate every time I see Stan I see his face I think of J.D. so I called J.D. right after the race and everybody back home, I think Adam will say that, that J.D. and the whole group, that doesn't come to the racetrack, it's a huge deal for them.テつ Sometimes I feel bad because they're on TV, they're watching TV and everything, but they don't get to celebrate.テつ So we try and do that on Wednesdays and we have a special lunch and stuff, a winners lunch, but it's hard for them and I really appreciate all of them back home.

Q.テつ Adam, how positive would you be if NASCAR said, okay, we're going to put this into effect at Charlotte, at Kansas, at the other mile and a halves in The Chase?
ADAM STEVENS:テつ How like excited would I be?

Q.テつ Yeah.
ADAM STEVENS:テつ Oh.テつ Man, well, based on one data point I would be really excited.テつ But it's just so hard to tell.テつ There's a lot of nuances about Kentucky that lend it to great racing.テつ So, I don't know that I can put it all on the package.テつ I can certainly tell you that the package was a benefit.テつ It was a race here.テつ But Kentucky's a pretty racy track and the groove opened up so wide to the.テつ The tire combination had an a little bit of fall off.テつ So I think it's a combination.テつ But they're pushing all the right buttons, I think, but oh, hell, I would still be excited.

Q.テつ Coach, for you, it was a big night for Joe Gibbs Racing as a whole, but for Carl Edwards it was just his third Top‑10 finish in 18 races.テつ How big of a deal was this for the 19 team tonight
JOE GIBBS:テつ I think it was a big deal.テつ I talked to Carl today and on its phone for quite awhile, right before I flew over.テつ And we were kind of ‑‑ and to be quite truthful, he was worried.テつ He said, you know, I just didn't feel good with the package, I thought some of our other cars were better than me and we had a long discussion on it.テつ And it was really eating at him.テつ And I haven't really been worried about it, because I kept waiting to say, we're going to break out of this.テつ We got a great pit crew put together, we know what he can do as a driver, he got Darian, we couldn't have a better group put together, but to be truthful, the performance had been off some and I could tell reading into him he's going, gosh dang it, you know, what's going on.テつ So, I think it's just look any great competitor and I know Darian feels the same way, so I got to tell you, I was, I had a big applaud when I saw that 19 come roaring up through there.テつ It was really a big deal.
MODERATOR:テつ Coach Gibbs, Adam Stevens, congratulations on a big night tonight for Joe Gibbs Racing and continued best of luck the rest of the season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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