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April 9, 2016

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs

Adam Stevens

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We're going to continue with our post‑race press conferences. We're now joined by the winner of the Duck Commander 500, Kyle Busch, driver of the No.18 Interstate Batteries Toyota. This is your second career weekend sweep at Texas Motor Speedway in the April event, the second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at TMS, 13th career victory across all three NASCAR national series. You're won the last four NASCAR national series races.
Kyle, talk about your effort tonight and then just this incredible run that you're on.
KYLE BUSCH: Well, it was a really good effort. You know, Adam Stevens and all these guys, they come here well‑prepared to start with, and had a good practice plan and everything, and we were able to set up our race car to my liking. Wasn't necessarily the fastest qualifier, but we knew we had a good race car, and the things that we did kind of worried me actually for about the first two‑thirds of the race, just not ‑‑ the trackwasn't necessarily coming to us, but then all of a sudden it took a shift and things did come to us, and we had a really good car there at the end. Adam made awesome adjustments all night long, though, and kept us in the game and kept getting us better and took us from probably being a sixth‑, eighth‑place car, something like that, to then being able to run up front in the top three, and barring different tire circumstances or different restart circumstances at the end, giving us a shot to win.
Hats off to those guys on the pit box and being able to get us here tonight with Interstate Batteries being in victory lane.
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by the winning crew chief, Adam Stevens. Talk about the pit strategy that you guys made. Others decided to go in different directions; obviously it paid off for you. Talk about that.
ADAM STEVENS: Well, everything was really straightforward until we had that short run there at the end and kind of hung the 78 and Martin and Cole out there. They were in a bad spot being the leader, having the four green flag laps on the tires. The thing that made that a little bit easier, obviously, was we had so many sets on the ground because we had some longer runs prior to that, so we were ahead of schedule on tire usage, and the guys behind us were really fighting their cars, so we knew most of them were going to be looking to pit road, and when we saw them all dive down, it was an easy call to come to pit road and get some tires.
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the winning owner, Joe Gibbs. Just talk about this incredible run that Kyle has been on.
JOE GIBBS: Well, first thing I want to mention, it's hard to get a chemistry like Adam and Kyle have. I think they developed it, I think, over the XFINITY program and everything that happened there. But to get them out to do what they did last year, Adam's first year, just really, I think, it's a special chemistry that they have, and I think it shows up week after week. A big thanks to them for that and all the hard work that Adam puts into that.
Our pit crew, too, our guys that work in that area, we spend a lot of time on that. It's a big deal for us, and it really pays off. It was, I think, a great night for the guys going over the wall.
I want to say we love coming here. So many of our sponsors were here yesterday and today. It's a huge deal for us.
Obviously to win here for Interstate at home, Norm, that's a thrill for him, and he certainly deserves it. We talked about him last night, how much he means to our team and the fact that we probably wouldn't be here or being racing if it wasn't for him. So it was a thrill for Interstate.
We got M&M's, called them and just thanked them because they're the major sponsor on the car, and they get to celebrate every victory we have.
Huge, huge night for us. I wished everybody back home that works on the cars and do all that hard work at home, I wish they could be here with us and celebrate, but I want to say a thanks to them. The fun thing about this is all the people that get to go with you.

Q. Kyle, we got some statistics this evening. Since you came back, you've led over 1,200 laps. This is your sixth Cup win, and you have 21 top‑10 finishes.
KYLE BUSCH: Seventh Cup win.

Q. They told us this before you got the checkered flag, so I stand corrected. My point being, is it even amazing to you what you've been able to do coming back from such a serious injury?
KYLE BUSCH: It is. You know, and I think that it's just a part of everyone coming together. I think it's a part of the whole team. It's not just me, it's not just Samantha, but it's Adam Stevens, it's Coach Gibbs, it's the organization and everyone rallying around us. It's my medical team, everyone that helped me, as well, getting me healthy, too, and forcing me to do the therapies and things like that and getting up in the morning and going and trying to get better faster.
I think, too, things are clicking. Things are gelling, and it wouldn't be possible probably, like Joe mentioned, without the relationship that Adam and I were able to spend gathering and gaining in the XFINITY Series. If we would have came into this Cup deal not really knowing each other, it probably wouldn't have been as good as it was. So I think that has been a huge part of it, as well, too.
It's all worked real well, and it's been exciting to have the success that we've had as of late, and let's just keep it going.

Q. Tonight you became the second driver since Harry Gant in 1991 to sweep two national series weekends in back‑to‑back weekends. What is the magic for the JGR organization on both fronts, and do you feel like you can make it three next weekend at Bristol?
KYLE BUSCH: I think the magic is Kyle Busch, but that's just me. Right, Joe?
JOE GIBBS: (Laughing.) Just when I thought you were starting to really‑‑ don't freak out on me.
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, exactly.
I'd admit I think it's everything. You've got to have all the pieces of the puzzle put together, but I think more importantly we've got good cars, but the crew chiefs are just doing a really good job right now, I think, just being able to apply all the things that we've learned over the couple of years. We knew we were behind, and when we were struggling a couple years ago when we were behind, we were working in all areas of the race car and trying to make it better, trying to make it better, and we knew TRD was behind a little bit, and when those guys caught up, man, it was easy. It was easy for us to gain speed because that's a huge proponent of what we do each and every weekend, which is that engine.
You know, now I feel like the TRD guys are on top of their game, as well. We've got everything going for us. The cars are good, engines are good, and crew chiefs are smart. Again, whole puzzle.

Q. Kyle, I believe it was after the Fontana race you said on Twitter that after you became a Sprint Cup Championship winner you wanted to get a good look at running the Indy 500. Is that something that you're actually wanting to do like in the next couple years? Are you giving a really good hard look at it, something that's in development?
JOE GIBBS: Like I said, just when we were starting to get things going in the right direction.
KYLE BUSCH: I don't know. I'd give it a whirl. But I've got to get it approved here first.
You know, it would be pretty funny if I can get my Cup sponsors to pay for it. Then it would be pretty easy to convince Joe, so that may be my best strategy, so I'll work on that. We'll see.

Q. You started in the middle of the pack. You got banged by Jimmie Johnson. How important was it for you to keep your patience during that race because you kept moving up and moving up?
KYLE BUSCH: Yeah, yeah, it was fine for us. No big deal. With it being such a long race, we knew we had a good car, we just had to keep working on it, keep making it better. When you put trust in the pit box and Adam Stevens and those guys to make good adjustments for you and keep going for it, it makes your day a little less stressful. Certainly that happened.
With getting hit by Jimmie on pit road, that was no big deal. I'm just glad didn't cause any serious damage to either of our cars. It was just kind of a freak deal with the way Harvick came out of his pits. I just had to check up in order to not run into the back of him, and I really didn't have anywhere to go because somebody was coming on my right side, and Jimmie just hit me in the rear.
But all in all, I think that it didn't cause too much damage to our car. I don't even think we blinked an eye and fixed it, but kept digging.

Q. Truex has an eight‑second lead there early in the race and you're struggling. What do you think your chances are of catching him at that time?
KYLE BUSCH: Early in the race? Yeah, early in the race we weren't all that great. Like I said, I feel like probably until about 130 to go, I felt like we were just off a little bit. We just didn't have it. But there was a change in the race that‑‑ a change in the track that I felt like changed the handling of a lot of the guys around us, and you could kind of see that happening, and that was kind of when we started making our way to the front. We were mired, what, fifth, sixth most of the time, and then once we passed for fourth, passed for third and we got to the third place, I just knew that we were better, but again, the 19, he was really fast, and the 78, they were really fast, too, on the long runs.
When we pitted with, what, 70 to go, we made some good changes to the car, and we were fast. We ran Truex back down. I think we were about five, five and a half seconds back, and we ran them down to about three seconds before that caution came out, and then of course they were just trying to out‑tire those guys at the end, which we were able to do with those short runs that got us off cycle from them.

Q. Coach, before you went to meet Kyle in victory lane, you stopped by Carl Edwards' car. What's the hardest part about having to meet a driver who's had an absolute dominating performance and had something like a lug nut ruin it all like that?
JOE GIBBS: That's what's hard about our sport, but I think the thing that you realize, up here to really have strong teams, four cars adds a lot. You've got drivers that can solve problems, crew chiefs who can solve problems, and I think the drivers understand that, too, and our technical meetings and everything, the way they share with each other, they know what we're doing is strengthening everything we have.
But the hardest thing is just that. You go to Carl, and you realize that he had an extremely fast car. Things don't work out for him, and you kind of talk that over. The same thing has happened to Kyle. That's the tough thing about our sport.
Of course tonight I had a chance to go over and talk to Matt, too. Matt has had such a tough time. He's had a fast car I think most of the races we've been to, and yet things haven't worked out for him, so you talk that over.
I think the general feeling is that he says, hey, we're going to get it here pretty quick.
So anyway, I wanted to‑‑ again, I mentioned to everybody back home, I wanted to mention J.D. and Coy moving over now and working with us on this side, so the whole family, the fun thing about that, I called Pat, she's up and loves it, so from a family standpoint, it was a thrill for us.

Q. You put 800 miles in the seat over two days; how tough is that physically?
KYLE BUSCH: I guess I'm used to it. I've done it enough over the years now. I've run doubles and triples that I'm accustomed to being behind the wheel. Joe pays me a little extra to make sure I stay in good shape to be able to go those long distances.
Pretty pumped about the opportunity to race in both races sometimes, especially when you win. It makes it extra special. But I feel good. No issues. Ready to go. Who wants to do more?
THE MODERATOR: Speaking of that, that's your ninth time you've won the XFINITY and Cup race in the same weekend, the most all‑time in NASCAR. So just throwing that out there.
KYLE BUSCH: Right on.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations.

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