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July 26, 2015

Kyle Busch


THE MODERATOR:テつ Kyle, welcome back.テつ We've now been joined by our race winner, Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 Skittles Toyota.テつ This is Kyle's fourth victory this season, his fifth top 10 finish and also his third win in a row.テつ Kyle, you have two NASCAR XFINITY Series wins here at the Brickyard, but you were still searching for that first Brickyard 400 win, and today you got to officially kiss those bricks on Sunday.テつ Talk a little bit about the emotions of today and also just what it means to win three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in a row.
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Well, there's a lot going on with today's win.テつ You know, just the event of everything that it is here at the Brickyard and being a part of the Brickyard 400.テつ I can't say enough about the military support, Jeff Kyle and everyone that was here to celebrate on behalf of him, but let alone the fallen and those in the future‑‑ present and future soldiers.テつ We just appreciate their support.
This is a great day for us, a great weekend for Toyota and TRD as well as M&M's, Skittles, Joe Gibbs Racing, all those involved with our race team.テつ It's just a true testament to what this team is all about.テつ I knew we had a really good car on Friday when I was just going out there practicing by myself.テつ It drove really good by itself and I knew we'd have a good shot if we could get out there and get out front.テつ I felt like we were the strongest car by ourselves, but traffic was just so hard to pass.テつ We had a lot of fun today.テつ We tried some different strategies there toward the end that kind of worked in our favor.テつ I wasn't sure about it, but those late restarts definitely worked in our favor and to come home with a victory here at the Brickyard 400 there's nothing else like it.テつ It's probably the biggest one of my career so far, and hopefully there's more wins here at the Brickyard and bigger wins in the series yet for me.

Q.テつ Once all those late‑race cautions were starting to happen, were you beginning to think, I've seen this movie before, including yesterday?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, no doubt.テつ You know, I've definitely seen that movie before.テつ I think every single Saturday race here we've had a late restart and I've lost the lead every single time, but in the two that I've won I've gotten the lead back.テつ Two years ago I got it back from Brian Scott, pretty much right after the restart, but then yesterday I didn't get it back until the white flag and coming back to the checkered.テつ You never know how it's going to play out, but man, it's so hard to win these things, and once you can get a guy out front and get him in clean air, typically you see that guy kind of stretch it and I knew if I could just protect the bottom‑‑ Joey was fast.テつ He drafted on me a couple times, but if you just protect that bottom and not let that guy get a chance inside of you you're really going to mess him up, and that's what I had to do in order to win this thing today.

Q.テつ You said it's probably your biggest win.テつ Is it because it's Indianapolis, is it because it's three in a row, because of what you've been through this year?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ I think there's a lot of things, but if you just look at the top four races that we have in our series, obviously I think you'd‑‑ I would order them as the Daytona 500, the Brickyard 400, the Coke 600, and then the Southern 500.テつ Those are the four crown jewels that I see in our sport.テつ They've been that way for a long, long time, and I don't know that it's really ever changed.テつ Besides those, I've won my Southern 500, I've won my hometown race which is a big race for me, the Las Vegas race.テつ I've also won the Bristol night race, I've swept Bristol, so there's a lot of great things that have happened for me in my career, but this one here today checks off probably the one that's No.2 on the races to win list, but there's still that elusive championship, as well, that we want to achieve.

Q.テつ You talked about a little bit in victory lane about your 11‑week vacation.テつ Talk a little bit about how much losing racing made you hungry, helped you out, and also your role now as a father, how much that's changed your outlook away from the track?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, certainly being away for 11 weeks, I mean it was tough, but really there was nothing I could do about it.テつ It wasn't like I was on a vacation.テつ But I did call it that.テつ But it was pretty hard times.テつ It was tough to fight through all those things that I had to go through, Samantha had to go through while she was pregnant.テつ She was helping me and everything that we did there.テつ But ever since being able to get back walking again, it was okay, how long now, and just all the steps that we went through to get back into the race car was quite challenging.テつ But once we've been back, I felt like I just continued right on my stride that I left with, and that I knew that Adam Stevens and I could achieve.テつ He's obviously a great leader of this team.テつ I love him to death, and he's doing a really good job, and obviously we're having fun doing what we're doing.
Having Brexton, though, obviously he's a huge inspiration to me and my wife, and nothing has brought us closer as a couple than him, and we just continue to enjoy every moment with him.テつ I don't know, I think he likes victory lane probably more than anybody else.テつ He wants to be there so much that his‑‑ I don't know if it's osmosis or his luck is just kind of rubbing off on us.

Q.テつ Today you win with a new package here at Indy, you win with a new package at Kentucky.テつ Are these new packages big steps in the right direction, not big enough steps in the right direction, and obviously you're a little biased, you've won with them, but what needs to be the next step with these?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Well, I think drag is exciting.テつ I would agree that there's nothing more beneficial than to be able to see a guy behind another guy gain on him down the straightaways, instead of making it a horsepower race you can make it a drag race.テつ That's fun.テつ But the thing that bothers us drivers is when you get to the corners and you absolutely‑‑ when you're by yourself, today, for instance, when I was by myself, I felt like I was a really good race car.テつ I felt like I had the car to beat.テつ But then when you got back in traffic, whether you were behind a guy or behind a group of cars, you were horrible.テつ It was just absolutely so hard to handle in traffic.テつ It's not sometimes such a bad thing, but you don't want to feel like you're going off into the corner and you're going to crash every time.テつ That's the thing.テつ You want to have some sort of security.テつ I think there's something to be learned from today.テつ I'm not sure it's the right combination exactly, but I think there's some benefits to it.

Q.テつ You've had three wins in a row, three different tracks.テつ Personally for yourself, have you surpassed your own expectations of this season because I'm sure coming back you had no idea what to expect.テつ What would you say about your own expectations for yourself personally?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, there's no question that we've certainly over‑exceeded.テつ We just wanted to come back and get back into a rhythm of things and finish top 20, finish top 15, get to some top 10s, but right when I did come back, I felt right ready to go.テつ I didn't want to come back and not be ready to contend for race wins or contend for top 5s, top 10s.テつ You know, when I did come back, I knew that that was what we were going to be here to do.テつ But I wasn't sure it was going to come this quick.テつ Gelling with Adam Stevens and just getting used to him as a crew chief, obviously I've worked with him on the XFINITY side but never at the Sprint Cup level.テつ This is an entirely different game up here, but it's all worked, and we've certainly exceeded our expectations.テつ This is just a run that anybody would have ever imagined including myself or my wife or my team.
We're going to bask in the moment and enjoy it.

Q.テつ How are your leg and your foot doing now, and are you making any kind of allowances in the car with them?テつ Are you still doing any kind of PT?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ So my leg is actually doing really, really good, my right leg with the double compound fracture, it's actually feeling really well.テつ I don't have any issues with it whatsoever inside the race car.テつ Walking around with my left foot, I still tend to have a little bit of soreness just through the plate that you have on my No.1 metatarsal.テつ It's immobilized two joints and there's a third joint, so the two joints that don't move, all of the motion that you're supposed to get in those goes through that third joint so that one joint is getting three joints worth of motion.テつ And that's what's giving me the most pain, most soreness.テつ It hurts a little bit to walk.テつ Some days are actually really good.テつ Today is not a bad day (laughing), but other days it hurts, and it doesn't feel very good.テつ But it's‑‑ I asked the doctor, is it going to get better, and he goes, I don't know if it's going to get any better until the plate comes out.テつ So I'm actually thankful that since I talked to him probably about a month ago it has actually gotten a little bit better, so we'll see how it continues to play out through the season.

Q.テつ Did your car get better, was your car better at the end of the day than it was earlier, and no burnout today, was there something said after Saturday?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ My car I thought was really good all day.テつ I didn't have any qualms about it.テつ It actually drove really, really well.テつ We made a couple of changes just because how loose I got in traffic to try to tighten up how my car was driving.テつ There at the end it was driving really good.テつ I actually felt like I was a little too loose, looser than I wanted to be, but once you get out front you're really good.テつ As far as the no burnout thing, you know, I just didn't want to hear it, so I did my own deal and took my own sort of victory lap and gave the bow to the crowd later when there was a bunch of fans and Kyle Busch fans that were sticking around at the end.

Q.テつ A lot of people on our Facebook page after your last win said that if you do make the championship, they don't think that since you were out 11 races, they don't think that that qualifies as a champion.テつ You can't even walk barely and you won four in a row, or four out of the last five and three in a row.テつ How have you proved yourself as a champion?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ I don't care what people say.テつ We're a team, and we work together as a team, and we're going to go out here and do what we can to bring Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota, Skittles, M&M's, Monster Energy, Pedigree, Snickers, all of our partners, a championship.テつ That's what it's all about.テつ They pay me to be behind wheel, and unfortunately due to injury I wasn't able to attend the first 11 races of the season.テつ It's not like I didn't want to be there but my team was still there, and we're going to go on and compete for a championship, and if we win a championship, then it's not that they're going to take it away from me.テつ It is what it is.テつ As far as right now, Tom Brady is going to be suspended for the first four games of the season, and then he's probably going to go on and compete for a championship and might even win the Super Bowl and I doubt anybody is going to take away a Super Bowl championship from that gentleman, so more power to him.

Q.テつ What can you say about your crew chief?テつ Obviously the two of you have a great relationship in XFINITY, won a lot of races, but it's not easy making that jump from the XFINITY Series into Cup, and he just seems to have acclimated so quickly, and the relationship that the two of you have together, Joe basically said that you kind of need a crew chief that isn't going to take any crap from you basically‑‑
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Is that the word he used?

Q.テつ Well, no.テつ But you know what I'm saying.テつ You kind of need somebody that makes their own decisions, as well, and helps to guide you.テつ Can you just talk about the dynamic there between the two of you?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ Yeah, I don't know what it is at all.テつ I remember joining Joe Gibbs Racing and being a part of the 18 team with Steve Addington and Chris Gayle, and then Adam was actually the lead engineer on the 20 car with Zipadelli and Stewart when I came on board.テつ He's been around for a little while, and I never really thought I got along with him all that well.テつ We never really talked, and then he worked with Logano and then he went to the XFINITY side and worked with Logano there and then worked with me.テつ But he's obviously a great leader in his team.テつ His guys respect him and everybody loves working for him.テつ I enjoy driving his race cars.テつ Same could be said, though, for my past crew chiefs, too.テつ I enjoyed working with them when I was with them.テつ It's just sometimes you've got to look and try to find that Jimmie Johnson / Chad Knaus‑type success.テつ And that's what we're all striving to be.テつ I think they've set the bar so high that people have got to sometimes make changes, and you see that kind of going on in this business.テつ Kevin did it, Carl did it, Matt did it, so including myself, from Hendrick, I guess.テつ But it's all just worked together so well for Adam and I.テつ Sometimes I don't know how to read him.テつ And I think that's probably a good thing, because people say the same thing about me, they don't know how to read me, so maybe that's just why sometimes we have fun, we joke, we talk, we laugh, you know, and other times the both of us don't say a word because we don't know what's going on in each other's heads.テつ I think that's kind of the mutual respect we have for one another.

Q.テつ Given the way things went for you today, do you have any doubt that you're going to be in the Chase?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ I don't have any doubts, but we're still not there, and even if we did get there, we still have got to be able to protect that spot and make it into the Chase.テつ Whether we get into the Chase and become Chase eligible next week or the week after or the week after that, it doesn't matter as long as it comes post‑race Richmond.テつ That's all that matters.テつ Whether we get in and whether we continue to grow and get top 25, none of that matters, just us being able to achieve the top‑30 rule and get as many wins as possible in order to‑‑ gives us the top seed come Chase time.

Q.テつ The way this race plays out, track position and all, you're around the same cast of characters all day long, and looking at it from the outside in, you seem to be able to use this aero package and make passes better than most of the other cars in the top 10.テつ Was it just that your car was that strong or did you feel as though you grasped how to use this aero package to your advantage better than the other guys did?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ I don't know exactly.テつ I think I did sort of learn a little bit about the aero package from yesterday's race, and yesterday's race was challenging because it wasn't quite as pronounced as today's was.テつ Today you could really gain on a guy down the straightaway, especially if a guy out front like myself ‑‑ like when I was the leader, Logano could gain so much on me down the straightaway, four or five car lengths.テつ But when you're in a group of cars, if there's a leader and a second and a third place and let's say you're the fourth‑place guy, all those guys start gaining on each other enough that really the effect of the fourth‑place guy doesn't have a lot of effect to catch the third‑place guy.テつ So you all kind of just streamline on.テつ Yeah, your RPMs gain and your speed gains, but you're not gaining the gap between the guy in front of you, but I would say that learning from XFINITY cars and learning from trucks was probably the biggest advantage, so everybody that says racing tracks is a bad idea (raspberry), I'll be in a truck next week at Pocono so I'll take what I learned today and give her a go next week.

Q.テつ As far as your Tom Brady question, I need to remind you, you are in Indianapolis‑‑
KYLE BUSCH:テつ If Andrew Luck got suspended for four weeks and then he participated in the championship game, he'd still be considered a champion.テつ Either way.

Q.テつ Probably.テつ But with all the success you're having right now and the fact that you're probably going to make the top 30, is there almost a point where you'd like to bottle up some of this momentum and save it for the Chase?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ No kidding, no doubt.テつ If you could take these three wins right here and make that Homestead, Phoenix, and whatever is before that, Texas, if you could bottle these three in a row and win at Texas, Phoenix, Homestead, you're the champion.テつ That's all that counts, those last three races.テつ You've got to make it through all the rounds, but essentially, man, if you could bottle it up, man, you'd sure love to do it.テつ This is just a phenomenal opportunity and a great run that we're on.テつ Again, I can't thank my team enough, everyone there at Joe Gibbs Racing.テつ This is a whole team effort.テつ It's not just me behind the wheel.テつ I'm just fortunate enough to be here talking to you guys and getting the glory and having my name put on the trophy, but it's the respect that my team deserves that they've done a great job through the season and the hardships that they've gone through to be in the position that we're in right now, we're going to enjoy this and hope that it continues and maybe there's some more wins before the Chase starts here, and maybe once the Chase does start.

Q.テつ After New Hampshire, Adam was still a little hesitant in talking about the possibility of you being a championship contending team.テつ He had no questions about that after winning today.テつ I just wondered, do you feel‑‑ you're so close right now, you could theoretically be in the top 30 next week.テつ Is it time to start thinking about that?
KYLE BUSCH:テつ A little bit, you know.テつ Yeah, once we become Chase eligible, which hopefully we will here shortly, but once we do that, then all we've got to think about is those final 10 races and how to win one of those races in each round, pick out the best ones, is Chicago our best in the first one, maybe, we've got to win that one.テつ And the next round after that Charlotte we've got to win Charlotte.テつ You've got to win a race in each round just to get that automatic go to the next round, so in case something bad does happen and in my Chase successes, there's always something bad that happens.テつ So I'm well aware of that.テつ I'm sure many of you are well aware of that.テつ We've just got to do all we can to position ourselves and place ourselves like we have here these last five weeks to do a good, consistent job in the Chase.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Kyle, congratulations again.テつ We appreciate your time this evening, and good luck at Pocono.

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